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Run a Validator (Kusama)


Running a validator on a live network is a lot of responsibility! You will be accountable for not only your own stake, but also the stake of your current nominators. If you make a mistake and get slashed, your tokens and your reputation will be at risk. However, running a validator can also be very rewarding, knowing that you contribute to the security of a decentralized network while growing your stash.


It is highly recommended that you have significant system administration experience before attempting to run your own validator.

You must be able to handle technical issues and anomalies with your node which you must be able to tackle yourself. Being a validator involves more than just executing the binary file.

Since security is so important to running a successful validator, you should take a look at the secure validator information to make sure you understand the factors to consider when constructing your infrastructure. As you progress in your journey as a validator, you will likely want to use this repository as a starting point for your own modifications and customizations.

If you need help, please reach out on the Kusama Validator Lounge on Element. The team and other validators are there to help answer questions and provide tips from experience.

How many KSM do I need to become an active Validator?

Controller accounts are deprecated

Controller accounts are deprecated. For more information, see this discussion.

You can have a rough estimate on that by using the methods listed here. To be elected into the set, you need a minimum stake behind your validator. This stake can come from yourself or from nominators. This means that as a minimum, you will need enough KSM to set up Stash and staking proxy accounts with the existential deposit, plus a little extra for transaction fees. The rest can come from nominators. To understand how validators are elected, check the NPoS Election algorithms page.

On-Chain Data for Reference

On Kusama, the minimum stake backing a validator in the active set is in the era .

On Polkadot, the minimum stake backing a validator in the active set is in the era .

Join the Thousand Validator Programme

The Thousand Validator Programme is an initiative by Web3 Foundation and Parity Technologies to use the funds held by both organizations to nominate validators in the community.

Warning: Any KSM that you stake for your validator is liable to be slashed, meaning that an insecure or improper setup may result in loss of KSM tokens! If you are not confident in your ability to run a validator node, it is recommended to nominate your KSM to a trusted validator node instead.

Validator Rewards

On Kusama, one day is approximately four eras whereas on Polkadot, one era is approximately a day. In each era, the validators elected to the active set earn era points which correspond to the actual rewards earned that are distributed proportionally to the nominators after deducting the validator commission. Currently, the minimum validator commission is set to % which can be set through on-chain governance. For more information rewards and payouts, check the validator payout document.

Run a Kusama Validator

Running a validator on the Kusama network is identical to running a Polkadot validator. Check out the Polkadot guide on how to setup a validator.

Make sure to adjust the Polkadot guide to run a Kusama network validator (the instructions will also be available in the Polkadot Validator guide):

  • When starting the node pass --chain=kusama CLI flag