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 Stash, head over to the Stake tab on the left. This is empty now, but soon that will change!

IMPORTANT: To nominate with a Ledger account, you'll need to use these instructions to set up the stash and controller accounts separately via the Polkadot-JS UI. This is due to the fact that certain batch calls aren't currently supported.

How to Stake your DOT

1. First, click on "Start Staking". 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. The first thing you need to do is select the Controller account from the ones available from the imported accounts.

If you have a lot of accounts, you can type in the search box to find the account you want. Once you've selected the Controller, click on "Continue".

NOTE: The Staking Dashboard does not allow you select the same account for Stash and Controller.

3. Next, 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.

4. 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. 

You can select the validators you want to nominate from the ones you've added in the Favourites tab. Alternatively, you can click on "Most Profitable" and let the app select the top ones based on their APY.

IMPORTANT: Although selecting the "Most Profitable" option might seem alluring, we strongly recommend that you research your validators and make a selection based on other criteria as well. Check this article to learn how to choose your validators.

5. Finally, it's time to select the amount you want to bond. The app has pre-filled the maximum transferable balance of your account, but 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 10 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.

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

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