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.

We're using the Westend testnet in this example, 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!

How to Stake your DOT

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


Each step that you complete will say "Complete" on right side. To move to the next step, click the "Continue" button. To make changes to a completed step, click the "Update" button next to it.

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

  • Compound: this option will send the rewards to your Stash account and add them to your current bond (compounding rewards).
  • To Your Account: this option will send the rewards to your Stash account as transferrable balance (not compounding rewards).
  • To Another Account: This option will send the rewards to any account you indicate as transferrable balance.

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

The staking dashboard gives you the option to generate an "Optimal Selection", "Active Low Commission",  "From Favourites", or add validators from scratch by a "Manual Selection".

If you are not happy with the suggested validators, click "Re-Generate" to create a new set or add more validators: from your Favourites, from parachain validators, from active ones, or a random one. Click on the X button next to the selected option to choose a different one:

If you want to select your nominations manually, please check this article to learn how to choose your validators.

4. Finally, it's time to enter the amount you want to bond. We recommend that you don't bond all the funds in your account. You will need some transferrable balance to be able to pay for future transaction fees.

In that step, you also see 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 250 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! This limit is dynamic and can change over time.

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


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

5. Once you enter the amount you want to bond and click Continue, you can see a summary. Check it, and click on "Start Nominating" to stake your funds!

Sign the extrinsic to complete the process. Once the extrinsic is broadcasted to the network, you will 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.

If you are more of a visual learner, check this video guide: