You are looking to stake Solana (SOL) using wallets like Phantom, Solflare and others, but you are wondering which validator to choose from?
Choosing the right SOL validator gives you a higher interest rate (APY returns), lesser commission and a better chance of helping the Solana decentralized network.
What is a Solana Validator, and why do we need one?
Solana validators are nothing more than just computer software that people worldwide run. This is similar to the Bitcoin mining process, where miners use their computers to solve mathematical equations and validate blockchain transactions.
Solana validators also process transactions, and they earn through charging commissions or fees from delegators. So when we delegate our SOL tokens to wallets like Phantom or Solflare for staking, we become the delegators.
When you visit Solana Beach, you can see that over a thousand different validators are supporting the Solana network.
There are several factors in choosing a suitable and profitable Solana (SOL) validator. These factors include their hardware and network performance, commission fees they charged, and these validators’ reliability. While all these can get pretty technical, there is a much easier way to choose the best validator.
What is the Best Solana Validator for Staking
This article will list down the three (3) EASY Steps you can use to decide which Solana (SOL) validator.
Step 1. Find a Validator with a High Score
Go to validators.app and look at the scoring chart showing the entire Solana validators list.
Ensure that the <Score> button (on top) is toggled on. It should be highlighted in green colour. (see image below).
To make things simpler, the website had already calculated and sorted all the validators in terms of their network performance, commission or fees charged, and overall reliability when using them. In short, the No.1 validator is the best overall, following the No. 2 validator, and so on.
You should keep an eye out for your Solana (SOL) validator somewhere in the top 10 – 15 on this list.
Keep this browser tab on as you will need to compare it against another validator’s listing (covered in Step 2)
Step 2. Find a Validator with a High Return
Go to StakeView.app and look for a validator with a high return. This means high APY and low / no fees or commissions.
By default, the web page first ranked all Solana validators based on the highest APY.
APY refers to the Annual Percentage Yield, which measures the rate of return based on one year. It includes compounding interest returns. In short, the higher the APY number, the more returns we will receive.
Step 3. Compare and Find A Common High-Ranking Validator
All you need to do is find a validator ranking high in both Validators.app and StakeView.app.
At the time of writing this article, AdiSol was ranked No. 4 in StakeView.app and ranked No. 9 in Validators.app. Therefore AdiSol is ranking high on both sides and is very suitable for our Solana (SOL) validator in this example.
The Scoring and APY returns for Solana validators change frequently. Therefore, what is ranking well previously may not be the same currently.
Always check for the latest numbers and find one validator ranking well for both sides.
Look through the top 10 -15 listings on both sides (Validators.app & StakeView.app), and you will find at least one (1) validator of your choice.