Staking on Polkadot is not a passive activity as you may be used to from other networks. There are several reasons why you may stop receiving rewards, which is why it's worth double-checking and making some optimisations every now and then in order to ensure ongoing rewards. 

What to know before starting

  • Nominating currently requires a minimum of 10 DOT staked funds on Polkadot (0.1 KSM on Kusama). Please make sure you are above that minimum or you won't be able to nominate. 

IMPORTANT: Not all nominators with over 10 DOT will get staking rewards. The minimum amount needed to earn rewards is dynamic and can be found on the Targets page on Polkadot-JS UI. Please refer to this referendum for details.

  • There is also a maximum of 50,000 nominators in place at the moment. That means, if there are already 50,000 nominators, you will not be able to nominate, even if you have more than the minimum of 10 DOT. You can double-check the current number of nominators on the Staking Overview page (which is currently well below that limit).
  • If you are staking above the dynamic minimum amount and still aren't receiving rewards, it's possible that your account needs to be re-adjusted by calling an extrinsic. This is due to the new bags-list feature. You can find instructions on how to fix this here.

Still not receiving rewards?

Before you follow the steps below, check your DOT address on a block explorer such as Subscan or Polkascan to verify whether you are receiving rewards or not.

If you are definitely not receiving rewards, determine: 

  1. Are you above the dynamic minimum bond? You can find it on the Targets page on Polkadot-JS UI.

    If you are above the dynamic minimum, but still not getting rewards, check this article for a possible solution.

  2. Have you bonded your DOT / KSM? You can double-check this in your account balance on the Accounts page:

    If you have no bonded tokens, please follow the instructions to stake here
  3. Have you nominated at least one validator? If not, follow the instructions to nominate.
  4. If you were chilled because you nominated with less than the minimum bond (check note above) but then you bonded more funds, you'll need to nominate your validators again in order to start receiving rewards. When your account is chilled it stops nominating.
  5. Are you nominating too few validators? You can nominate up to 16 validators. The more you nominate, the higher your chances for receiving regular rewards. Not every validator makes it into the active set every day, so if you nominate too few validators you may not be receiving rewards every day. Still, make sure you only nominate validators that you trust. Check this article on how to choose validators.

  6. Has it been at least 48 hours since you started nominating? Staking rewards will only begin coming in after enough time for new validator set selection has passed. 

  7. Do you have at least one active validator? Note that in the vast majority of cases, only a single active validator will be selected for a nominator per era. This is expected behavior. 

    Having multiple inactive or waiting validators is not a problem, unless none of them show as active. In that case, you can nominate more validators up to the maximum of 16 or change your selected validators. 

  8. Is your active validator oversubscribed? If you are not among the top 256 nominators (in terms of stake) for your active validator, you will not receive rewards. To fix this, make a new selection and choose validators that are not oversubscribed yet. 

  9. Are you sending rewards to the correct address? Generally rewards are sent to either the stash or controller, but you can also choose to direct them elsewhere. 

  10. Have you checked to see if there is a pending payout? You can see this in the Payouts tab as per the image below.

    Payouts are usually done after each era ends by the validators. If your validator hasn't initiated the payout yet and you cannot wait, you can initiate the payout by clicking on the Payout button on the top right or the one next to your pending payment. Note that will cost you transaction costs, though. If you're not in a rush, simply wait for the validator (or someone else) to initiate the payout.