Start your staking journey or explore more information about staking on Polkadot's Home PageDiscover this new Staking Dashboard that makes staking much easier and check our extensive article list in the Overview article to help you get started.

In this article we guide you on how to stake your DOT and nominate validators using the Staking Dashboard, all in a simple and intuitive way.

In the article we're using the Westend testnet, but the process is the same for Polkadot and Kusama.

After you connect the account you want to use as the stash, head over to the Nominate tab on the left. This is empty now, but soon that will change!

IMPORTANT: To nominate with a stash and controller accounts, you'll need to use these instructions to set up the stash and controller accounts separately via the Polkadot-JS UI.

How to Stake your DOT

1. First, click on "Start Nominating". This will take you through a series of steps to complete staking with your account. 

NOTE: Each step that you complete will say "Complete" on right side. Once you move to the next step there will also be an "Update" button. Click on it if you want to make changes.

2. You need to select the reward destination, i.e. where your staking rewards will be sent. There are three options:

  • "Back to Staking": This option will send the rewards to your Stash account and add them to your current bond (compounding rewards).
  • "To Stash": This option will send the rewards to your Stash account as transferable balance (not compounding rewards).
  • "To Controller": This option will send the rewards to your Controller account as transferable balance.

3. In the next step you can select which validators to nominate. On Polkadot you can select up to 16, while on Kusama up to 24 validators. 

The staking dashboard gives you the option to generate a "Optimal selection", "Active low commission", from the ones you've added in the "Favourites" tab, and add validators from scratch by a "Manual selection".

IMPORTANT: Check this article to learn how to choose your validators.

4. Finally, it's time to select the amount you want to bond. We recommend that you don't bond everything, leave some small balance as transferable to be able to pay for future transaction fees. 

In that step you see also some interesting information that you need to take into consideration. The bar at the bottom shows whether the amount you have entered meets the two thresholds:

a. To nominate (the Nominate line)

b. To actively nominate and receive rewards (the Active line)

If your bond is below the first line, you won't be able to nominate at all and the app won't let you bond. This limit is 100 DOT on Polkadot currently.

If your bond is above the first line but below the second, you can bond but your account won't participate in the election mechanism (i.e. you won't be nominating any validators) and you won't receive rewards!

If all three areas are filled out, like in the image above, you can stake and start receiving rewards!

NOTE: If you want to learn more about these staking limits, please read this article.

5. Once you've made all your selections, you can see a summary and click on "Start Nominating" to stake your funds!

As soon as you do that, you'll be taken back to the Nominate tab, which is now displaying all the details of your stake:

And that's it! Visit the Nominate tab regularly to check the status of your nominated validators.