cTrader vs MT4: Decisive Factors in Choosing the Best Trading Platform

ctrader vs mt4

Every trader needs a certain set of functions when it comes to the trading software. Some features of the trading platform are essential, others play a role of additional benefits. Nonetheless, the selection of the trading platform has a direct impact on the performance of a trading strategy as the range of effective tools matters for the accuracy of trading decisions.

It’s understandable that different trading strategies might require various combinations of the platform features. Imagine a trader spending hours reading news and making trading decisions based on fundamental analysis, rumors and expectations of the majority of market players. Such a trader would not need sophisticated charting tools, trading algorithms or copy-trade solutions. All of his trading decisions are based on the analysis of the fundamental environment, the average holding time per position is quite long, and he/she uses the trading platform only to open and close trades. In this case, the only requirement is the reliability of the trading software, stable connection with broker’s servers, and clear trading conditions in terms of spreads and commissions.

But what if a trader wants to take advantage of the wide range of trading approaches? What if he uses technical analysis as one of the most crucial factors to increase the accuracy of entries and exits, and maximise possible profits as a result? What if this trader prefers diversification risks in the scope of using several trading methods including copy-trade? What if the automation of trading strategies takes a decent part of his daily routine?

Well, it’s obvious that the range of requirements for the functionality of the trading platform widens significantly in this case. This is when the battle of cTrader VS MT4 begins.

MetaTrader 4: conservative old-school solution or reliable market leader?

mt4 demo

I’m confident that the number of traders who started their trading careers with MetaTrader4 is huge. I remember myself at the very beginning stage of the fascinating path of discovering online trading in the financial markets. It was hard to find a reasonable alternative for MetaTrader 4, while the software itself seemed to be the most feature-rich solution with the highest level of reliability possible. Even the new release of the next generation of the trading platform from MetaQuotes — MetaTrader 5 — was not able to replace the old-fashioned solution as the market leader. Still, many forex brokers offer no choice for the trading platform but MetaTrader 4.

MT4 is a simple solution, and that’s exactly the main advantage. The trading platform cannot boast variability of the functions. The workspace is adjustable, chart settings can be modified, while the rest of the functionality is quite limited. One of the most significant strengths of the MT4 platform is that it supports a large number of trading algorithms coded in the MQL4 programming language. It’s possible to choose, download and backtest a wide range of plugins, bots and other solutions for automated trading. MetaTrader is supported by a large number of forex and CFD brokers focused on providing services for algorithmic trading, which adds attractiveness to the platform.

The latest technological achievements leave the MT4 software far behind the threshold of requirements to the trading platform. Besides, the old-looking interface, MetaTrader 4 does not deliver user-friendliness. Traders have to apply additional efforts to install extensions and plugins, deal with dll libraries or read long instructions before adding a third-party algorithm. I personally know traders that have to deal with MT4 only for opening and closing trades, while the process of market research and chart analysis is done in other apps. That does not add attractiveness to the trading software.

cTrader vs MT4: reasonable alternative or raw product?

cTrader platform screenshot

Comparing cTrader vs MT4 leaves an impression of an entirely different level. The approach that the cTrader developer — Spotware — is focused on a wide variety of options for the end user. The number of options in choosing the trading strategy soars when it comes to the range of cTrader functions. It starts from an efficient workspace with informative charting tools, and ends with additional sections for automation, market research, analysis of the trading history and copy-trade. The feature-rich solution appears in significant details.
Traders can analyse the market from different points of view without leaving the platform. It’s possible to filter the economic calendar by the asset you are currently focusing on. The market depth extensions point out the current market momentum with the volume of orders placed near the current price from both bulls and bears.
cTrader charts are full of sophisticated technical analysis tools and informative blocks to get additional information about the asset, its margin requirements and cost of pip. Technical indicators are adjustable and variable, while charts are detachable. One-click trading and pre-installed extensions for trading signals allow traders to make quick and accurate decisions in a fast-changing environment. It’s even possible to drag and drop the level of a stop-loss or take-profit order for any deal. Charts also show the trading history so that traders can have a clearer picture before entering the market.
Once a trader starts discovering the product from Spotware, the question of which platform is better — cTrader vs MT4 — does not appear any more in most cases. Such features as simple-to-use automation section based on easy C# programming language simplifies the life of a trader who is keen on creating his own algorithms.
Traders can diversificate their risks by sending a part of the account balance to follow other traders automatically, while the copy-trade platform delivers tons of useful information about strategy providers’ performance and key indicators of their trading history such as ROI, percentage of profitable trades, average holding time per position and assets allocation.
cTrader also has additional types of postponed orders, advanced stop-loss protection, smart trailing stop, double-up and reverse buttons, and a whole list of hotkeys for quick trading commands.
The platform does not concede to MT4 in terms of order execution speed and reliability of the connection with broker’s servers. The only concern might be related to the rather low number of brokers supporting the cTrader software so far. However, this indicator constantly grows, adding new companies interested in alternative solutions to the old-fashioned MT4 product.

Personally I don’t have any doubts about the winner of the cTrader VS MT4 battle. Do you?

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Dan Sidonius

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