I have a call to an extrinsic (in a Typescript/RxJS client) that is failing but I want to be able to catch the error that the extrinsic is throwing and not just that it failed.

const chainEvents: EventMap = await myExtrinsic(api, keys, somedata);
const failedEvent: Event = chainEvents["system.ExtrinsicFailed"];

So how do I find the specific error that the chain is throwing (i.e. from Rust)? I want the DispatchError.

Furthermore, the output isn't very helpful:


Error from call to api

Error in Polkadot.js UI

  • 1
    Maybe this post will help you: substrate.stackexchange.com/questions/947/…. And doesn't it fail at ensure_signed/ensure_root (BadOrigin)? Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 7:59
  • That code doesn't work but may reveal some clues. I was able to get the index of the error in the enum BUT not a human readable description. ie. the actual enum name and the pallet where the enum is defined. const failedEvent = chainEvents["system.ExtrinsicFailed"]; console.dir(failedEvent.toJSON()); displays: [ { module: { index: 61, error: '0x03000000' } }, { weight: 288499000, class: 'Normal', paysFee: 'Yes' } ] where 0x03000000 means the enum at index 3 (4th when counting from 0) Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 22:09
  • There should be a more direct way of getting this or at least a way to get a human readable error enum name and pallet name. Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


This piece of code should work if you apply it to your custom pallet/extrinsic

  .transfer(recipient, 123)
  .signAndSend(sender, ({ status, events, dispatchError }) => {
    // status would still be set, but in the case of error we can shortcut
    // to just check it (so an error would indicate InBlock or Finalized)
    if (dispatchError) {
      if (dispatchError.isModule) {
        // for module errors, we have the section indexed, lookup
        const decoded = api.registry.findMetaError(dispatchError.asModule);
        const { docs, name, section } = decoded;

        console.log(`${section}.${name}: ${docs.join(' ')}`);
      } else {
        // Other, CannotLookup, BadOrigin, no extra info

Reference from https://polkadot.js.org/docs/api/cookbook/tx/#how-do-i-get-the-decoded-enum-for-an-extrinsicfailed-event

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