A validator's status can be divided into three categories: active, inactive, and waiting. This article describes each of these statuses and what a nominator can do to improve the chances of getting staking rewards. It uses the Polkadot-JS UI and the Staking Dashboard. You can check our extensive article list to help you get started with the dashboard.


Validator Status

When you nominate a set of validators (up to 16 on Polkadot or 24 on Kusama), the validator election algorithm will rotate your stake among validators on a per-era basis. In other words, you may have a different active validator amongst your selected validators for each era


You cannot choose which specific validator you will be actively nominating in a given era unless you are nominating just one validator.


This is the validator you are actively nominating for the current era. Unless you are staking with a considerable amount, you will be nominating a single validator in each era with your full stake. This validator will pay rewards to you once the payout has been activated at the end of that era.


These validators are in the active validator set and your list of nominations. However, you are not actively nominating them for this era (they are not active for you), and they will not give rewards to you for this era.

  • When you first nominate validators, all of them will be "waiting" in the current era. That's normal. Your nominations will take effect in the next era. You will only see active validators (and begin earning staking rewards) after two eras, so on the third day earliest.
  • If you see only inactive validators for days and never an active one, you may have nominated too few validators (you can nominate up to 16 on Polkadot).
  • You won't see any "active" validators if you're nominating with any less than the minimum. Instead, you will only see "inactive" and "waiting" and won't receive any rewards. The minimum nomination amount needed to receive rewards is dynamic and can be found on the Nominate tab of the Staking Dashboard.

If you are not receiving staking rewards, you can check the possible causes in the article "Why am I not Getting Staking Rewards?".


These validators did not get into the active validator set in this era. They may get into the active validator set in the future.

Note that it does not hurt your rewards to nominate waiting validators as long as you have nominated at least one validator in the active set. Your stake will support one of the validators in the active validator set.

If you are more of a visual learner, we have the video for you! Go to the mark 10:19 on the video below to let Filippo explain what Active / Inactive / Waiting nominations are: