When it comes to online CFD trading, so many factors play their part in a successful journey. One of the fundamental ones is choosing the right platform. Just to help, we will be breaking down the two most well-known platforms: MetaTrader and cTrader.
The MT4 and MT5 platforms are designed and developed by MetaQuotes, with the MT4 bearing the crown in the trading community since 2005. Its successor, MT5, introduced to the trading community in 2010, is yet to gain its audience, currently serving as an “upgrade” and filling in gaps that the MT4 couldn’t fill. Since MT4 is the most widely used one, it will also be our focus in this comparison.
The brains behind cTrader, Spotware Systems, decided to shake an MT4-satisfied audience with the introduction of their platform back in 2011. cTrader’s aim was to offer something more contemporary, with Spotware Systems introducing themselves with the “Traders First” motto, meaning that cTrader was built with traders’ needs and requests in mind.
Let’s dive deeper into the two platforms, focusing on 5 crucial areas of trading:
Availability & accessibility
This category has a clear winner. Given its age and popularity amongst the trading community, MT4 is currently offered by over 1000 brokers globally, whereas cTrader has a smaller base but, due to a growing global demand by traders, we will soon be seeing the platform everywhere.
Both platforms are available on desktop, web, and mobile, operating seamlessly on both Windows and MAC operating systems. MT4 can also operate on Linux with the help of certain external solutions.
Trading tools & interface
With over 70 pre-installed technical analysis indicators and the ability to also create customized ones, cTrader has a lot to offer in terms of trading tools. On the other hand, MT4 doesn’t offer any in-built indicators, only allowing for the creation of bespoke ones. Among others, cTrader also offers Advanced Order Protection & an in-built economic calendar, something that MT4 doesn’t natively provide.
Everyone would also agree that cTrader boasts a fresh interface, steering clear from MT4’s outdated, conservative look. With its light and dark themes, customizable layouts, font sizes, chart backgrounds, and a full-screen mode, cTrader allows traders to shape the platform according to their needs.
cTrader is famous for its wide array of chart types, with 9 different ones on offer – Candlesticks, Bar charts, HLC charts, Line charts, Heikin chart, Dots, Ticks, Renko & Range bars. MT4, on the other hand, offers 3, Candlesticks, Line & Bar charts.
cTrader users can also trade straight from the chart via QuickTrade, opening, closing, and modifying their orders at any time by simply dragging and placing elements on their chart. To top off cTrader’s advantages, it also offers over 40 different standard and tick time frames, while MT4 offers just 9.
This category also finds cTrader ahead of the competition, offering the full range of standard order types plus more advanced ones: Market, Stop, Limit, Stop-Limit, OCO, Market Range, Market Order on Open, Time of The Day. Good till Day. MT4 only offers Market, Stop, and Limit orders. cTrader also offers its users the possibility to enter their Take Profit and Stop Loss targets for Market orders, whereas MT4 allows this only for Pending orders.
Let’s start by saying that MT4 has owned the algo trading community for quite some time, with its EA’s being already established and hard-to-beat for cTrader. With cTrader Automate though, the platform is trying to earn a substantial spot in automated trading, has also extended its API’s scope over the years.
To conclude, cTrader is a promising entry with traders’ needs in mind. MT4, on the other hand, is a cult favorite. A choice of platform is personal so select whichever ticks the most boxes and trade wisely!