AS HOME GLOBAL Site Logo & icon



Trading Platform Comparison

The MT4 and cTrader systems will be compared in-depth in this post. The user interface, charting package, trading tools, programming languages, back testing capabilities, trade execution, availability, and accessibility are all compared, allowing you to more confidently decide which trading platform is ideal for your trading needs.

In the investment world, trading CFDs and forex carries a significant level of risk. You need a technological software solution if you want to trade in the currency market or speculate on the price variations of various CFDs.

The trading platforms cTrader and MetaTrader 4 each have advantages and disadvantages. This evaluation will cover all the differences and similarities between the most widely used trading platforms, MetaTrader 4 and cTrader.

A Brief History

The Limassol, Cyprus-based Fintech business Spotware Systems introduced the cTrader platform in 2011. However, MetaTrader 4 (MT4), developed by MetaQuotes Software, has become the industry standard for forex trading. The MT4 trading platform was established in 2005 by MetaQuotes, the main company.

Over 1,200 brokerage trading companies have licenses for the MT4 platform, although it no longer grants new licenses to forex brokers as of 2018.

The improved MetaTrader 5 trading platform, which was marketed as a multi-asset trading platform, took the place of MT4.

The all-in-one multi-asset trading platform cTrader includes more sophisticated trading features. One of the best features that sets cTrader apart from MetaTrader 4 is the depth of market (DOM) feature with level ii, ECN/STP market execution, algorithmic trading via cBots, back testing capabilities, and the order types.

Differences And Similarities


The main similarity between the two platforms in terms of functionality or features would likely be that they are both designed for Forex and CFD trading rather than Stock, Option, or Bond trading.

Another similarity is that both MetaTrader 4 and cTrader have web-based versions and can be accessed from Windows PCs, mobile devices, and other devices.

Additionally, both systems permit algorithmic trading using trading robots. Expert advisors can be created and customized using MetaTrader 4’s MQL4 programming language, while cTrader’s equivalent, cAlgo, which is based on the C# programming language, enables the development of robots (cBots) that can execute trades, create custom indicators, carry out strategies, or conduct back testing.

However, MetaTrader 4 is still recognized as providing the greatest support features for auto trading, and it has a sizable online community where traders may readily receive help if they need it. The auto-trading feature of cTrader, however, might not have as much support.

Finally, one-click trading and trading immediately from charts are supported by both systems.


The primary distinction between the two platforms is that cTrader has three methods for determining market depth: standard depth, price depth, and VWAP depth. These options give traders a better understanding of market liquidity at various price points, allowing them to enter the market with greater accuracy. In contrast, there is only one market depth function in MetaTrader 4.

Second, cTrader has enhanced take-profit/stop-loss levels, market sentiment, and Smart Stop-out features, which MetaTrader 4 does not, in addition to having a broader selection of technical indicators, time frames, chart styles, and order types. Third, unlike MetaTrader 4, the cTrader platform enables strategy back testing on real-time data and trading performance analysis.

Furthermore, unlike the MT4 platform, the cTrader platform gives users access to cloud-hosted watch lists, workspaces, and price alerts as well as the ability to modify watch lists, email, and push notifications.

Not to mention, cTrader is made to work with real ECN + STP brokers, whilst MetaTrader 4 might only be suitable for ECN execution.

Trading Platform Interface

When comparing the two trading platforms’ user interface designs, there are two differences. The cTrader platform has a more contemporary appearance than the MT4 platform, which has an older appearance.

The following sections are accessible to traders in MetaTrader 4’s user interface:

  • Common Window Heading – contains the current account number, name of active chart window, name of the application
  • Main Menu – contains all functions and commands that can be carried out in the client terminal
  • Toolbars – four, built into the terminal (Standard, Charts, Line Studies, Timeframes)
  • Market Watch – contains all trading instruments available
  • Depth of Market – visualizes the current market for a particular trading instrument
  • Data Window – contains price information as well as indicators and expert advisors applied
  • Navigator – visualizes open accounts, indicators, scripts and expert advisors
  • Terminal – contains multiple functions, including active trade positions, news, account history, alerts, mailbox, signals, platform and expert advisor logs
  • Tester – testing of expert advisors;
  • Tick Charts
  • Status Bar
  • Fast Navigation Tools – hotkeys, acceleration keys, fast navigation bar for working quickly with the terminal

However, traders may access the most crucial tools and options from the platform’s home screen using cTrader’s user-friendly layout. Listed below are the sections of the interface:

  • Main Menu – contains the Trade, Copy, Automate, Analyse, Deposit/Withdrawal features and cTrader settings
  • cTID Bar – users can switch between different live trading accounts, create a Demo account, gain access to extra links and help materials
  • Account Bar – users can switch between all accounts having a link to the current cTID
  • MarketWatch – allows selection of trading instruments, opening trades and creation of watch lists
  • Charts
  • TradeWatch – users can manage positions and orders, view history of transactions and deals, and more
  • Status bar
  • Instruments toolbar – users can switch between different chart modes, set price alerts, configure drawing tools and more
  • Active Symbol Panel – users can place orders, gain access to Depth of Market, view market sentiment, trade statistics, leverage and more

Order Types

There are three order execution types in MetaTrader 4 and a variety of trading orders are supported (instant, request, market). Traders have access to two market orders (Buy and Sell), four pending orders (Buy Stop, Sell Stop, Buy Limit, Sell Limit), two stop orders (Take Profit, Stop Loss), and a Trailing Stop.

In contrast, cTrader provides a wider choice of trade orders, such as market orders, stop orders, limit orders, stop-limit orders, market range orders, market orders on open, time of the day, good till the day, one cancels the other, and trailing stop.

Charting Package

Because MetaTrader 4 has basic charting software options and trade tools up front for technical analysis, it is particularly user-friendly for new traders. The charting software for MT4 includes:

  • 4 types of charts – Bar, Line, Candlestick, Tick (real-time, with a single setting)
  • 9-time frames – ranging from 1 min to 1 month
  • 24 analytical objects – lines, channels, shapes, arrows, Gann and Fibonacci tools
  • 30 built-in technical indicators, more than 2,000 free custom indicators and 700 paid indicators (available in the Code Base)

There is no limit to the number of charts that can be open at once. Real-time chart zooming and scrolling are also available to traders. Charts in MT4 can be totally customized. Users can design templates or specify specifications for a chart window that can be used with any other chart. The items saved in a certain template could be:

  • Colour diagram
  • Chart type and colour
  • Chart scale
  • Line studies
  • Attached expert advisors with their parameters
  • Applied technical indicators with their settings
  • Separators of days

In contrast, cTrader offers sophisticated charting features along with an abundance of analytical tools and superior charts. The charting package for cTrader consists of:

  • 9 types of charts – Bar, Line, Candlestick, Heikin-Ashi, HLC, Dot, Tick (27 settings available), Renko (19 settings available), Range-based charts (22 settings available)
  • 54-time frames and 6 zoom levels for each time frame
  • 33 analytical objects
  • 70 built-in technical indicators and many more custom indicators created in cTrader Automate or downloaded from the cTrader Store

While trading Forex and CFDs may be done straight from the charts on both trading platforms, cTrader also gives users the option to detach charts so they can be utilized as standalone, tradable desktop apps across multiple screens. Each chart window or application has all the options for customization and displays charts in several layout styles.

Chart templates can be created in cTrader, much like in MetaTrader 4, and then utilized in the future. In order to accommodate diverse technical analysis-based trading methods for different chart types, time frames, or instruments, traders could also save up to 50 different templates.

The cTrader software enables traders to make an unlimited number of watch lists that can be separated and moved about the workspace for simple price tracking of preferred trading instruments. Watch lists can be stored in the cloud for access from anywhere at any time.

Tools for Trading and Risk Management

There are not many extra trading tools and plugins available for MetaTrader 4. The primary elements on this front are trading signals, notifications, and financial news (copy trading).

Alerts can be established for certain trading scenarios, such as when prices exceed certain bid or ask levels that traders have specified. The trading platform will send out an email or make a sound to traders if a specific occurrence takes place. Users can also choose to receive SMS or push notifications on their mobile device.

With the use of the trading signals feature, traders may seamlessly duplicate other users’ transactions into their own actual trading accounts or demo accounts without ever leaving the platform. The “Signals” tab of the MT4 terminal window contains a list of signal providers that traders can browse, choose from, subscribe to, and start copy trading.

Over 3,200 free and paid signals are available for users to select from. Selecting a signal provider can be based on a number of factors, including trading history, subscriber count, growth rate, assets managed, and maximum drawdown.

Hedging and netting are supported by both MT4 and cTrader as well.

cTrader Risk Management Tools

The cTrader platform offers the same email alert setup options as MetaTrader 4. With cTrader, the variety of potential warnings is significantly wider. Available alert kinds include:

  • Pending orders filled
  • Stop Loss and/or Take Profit orders triggered
  • Stop-Out
  • Deposits/Withdrawals
  • 3 custom margin call alerts set at different levels

The Volume Tooltip from cTrader is one trading tool that we won’t find on MetaTrader 4. The tool displays the pip value, the commission fee, and the necessary margin when users choose the volume of a certain trading order. Or it will spare them the time necessary to independently test such characteristics.

In contrast to MT4, cTrader also has an integrated economic calendar that allows traders to conveniently track important macroeconomic news, political developments, or central bank pronouncements.

Market Sentiment is yet another tool that is missing from the MT4 platform. This tool displays the percentage of long positions compared to short positions for all other trades made in a specific trading instrument on the cTrader platform across all participating brokerages.

Compared to MetaTrader 4, cTrader has two different kinds of stop-out features:

    • Smart Stop-Out: which will maintain the position and the point of entry while partially closing the position taking on the largest amount of margin;
  • Fair Stop-Out: which will conclude the position and fully assume the highest margin. This will leave as much room as possible to protect the still-active positions.

Copy Trading

You can utilize cTrader Copy if you want to copy trades. Every user of cTrader Copy has the ability to create their own trading strategies and deliver trade signals to followers in return for performance management and volume fees. Investors can find a decent trading method in the interim and imitate it without making a long-term commitment. The following is a list of the main advantages for both investors and strategy suppliers.

Automated Trading and Robots

Both platforms have excellent automated trading capabilities, yet because of the widespread use of its programming language and more sophisticated automated features, cTrader surpasses MetaTrader 4.

cTrader Automated Forex Trading

cTrader has a native built-in algorithmic trading solution, called cTrader Automate (or cAlgo), which supports the C# coding language for creating trading robots and the proprietary cTrader API. The latter is specifically created to meet Forex margin trading needs and includes market data, all order types, all order modification options, predefined indicators, trading history transactions, accounts, trading tools and connections, to ensure that as many insights are built into a trading strategy as possible.

With the help of the integrated code editor Visual Studio in cTrader Automate, traders may quickly develop the code for trading robots or indicators.

The so-called “plug and play” functionality of cTrader Automate allows traders to load a trading robot or custom indicator and press “play” to immediately begin trading without having to go through time-consuming installation processes. With this capability, cBots may be quickly installed and activated.

cTrader Automate also has other distinctive features, such as:

  • Visual back testing
  • Advanced optimization
  • Back testing history
  • Historical data
  • Trade statistics
  • Deal Map

The FIX API trading interface is additionally made available to all institutional, professional, and high-frequency retail traders at no cost through cTrader. The API talks with the cTrader server directly using FIX messages, which is a protocol based on FIX. Electronic trading utilizes the FIX protocol, which permits the exchange of messages with financial data. Retail customers can use FIX messages to trade using their cTrader trading account thanks to the cTrader FIX API.

Last but not least, cTrader offers a variety of trading robots and customized indicators that users in the community have contributed to support any algorithmic trading needs. It also has a community that is continually growing of traders, financial professionals, and advisors.

Automated Trading With MT4 Forex Trading Platform

The MQL4 Integrated Development Environment (IDE), which enables users to create, test, and employ expert advisors and technical indicators for algorithmic trading, is probably one of the most advantageous features of the MT4 platform. The MQL4 programming language, which guarantees great functionality and efficiency, is the foundation of the IDE. IDE includes several components:

  • MetaQuotes Language 4 (MQL4)
  • MetaEditor
  • MetaTrader 4 Strategy Tester
  • Documentation – MQL4 language knowledge base
  • – a website that grants access to unique services for financial markets trading.

A trading strategy that has been created in the MetaEditor is automatically transferred to the MT4 platform for additional testing and optimization in the Strategy Tester. Finally, a developed and tested trading strategy may be implemented into the platform, with the expert adviser trading the specific market and the technical indicator analyzing the market environment.

In addition to allowing for strategy formulation, MetaTrader 4 users have the following options:

  • Offer their developed trading technique for sale on the platform’s market, the biggest collection of trading tools in the world.
  • Place it in the code base so that millions of other users can access it for free. 950 trading robots and 2,000 technical indicators are included in the codebase, which is also a free source code library that is integrated into the platform.
  • Offer it to a client for a fee using the platform’s Freelance service. Users who have not been able to find a suitable trading technique in the market or codebase can use this completely safe service.

Availability and Accessibility

Both platforms are accessible and readily available, and they function on a variety of devices, including:

  • Desktop
  • Mobile App (iOS and Android devices)
  • WebTrader
  • Tablets and iPad

However, it is possible for Linux users to run cTrader on that operating system by utilizing free, open-source software (known as Wine), which will let them to use programs created for Windows especially. Due to Wine’s lack of support for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) technology, traders who utilize cTrader Automate (cAlgo) have, nonetheless, experienced a few difficulties. And WPF is necessary for most of cTrader applications.

The web-based trading platform for cTrader offers a solution for Mac users. It’s also important to know that MetaTrader 4 Desktop needs third-party software like Wine to function on macOS.

cTrader vs MetaTrader 4: Web Trading

With the help of cTrader Web, Forex traders may conveniently access the market from any device that has an HTML5-compatible web browser installed. This includes Apple’s Safari (a good opportunity for Mac users), Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. The platform’s web-based version is compatible with all widely used operating systems and provides the same capability for manual trading and charting that the desktop platform does.

In comparison, the MT4 web platform does not require any additional software installation and offers access to the Forex market from any browser on any supported operating system, including Windows, Linux, and Mac. Due to data transmission encryption, the trading platform’s web version is extremely secure and offers all the benefits of the desktop MT4 solution.

cTrader vs MetaTrader 4: Mobile Trading

Forex traders may access their trading accounts from virtually anywhere thanks to the cTrader applications for iOS and Android devices. The layouts, controls, and design of the trading apps for iOS and Android are clever. Both mobile app versions have complex order types, full trading history reports, and in-app notifications for order status, price alerts, and other items. They also have significant charting features. With 22 language options, the cTrader mobile app expands its reach to a larger customer base worldwide.

Platform Security

Both platforms adhere to current security standards. Data sent between the client terminal and the servers of the trading platform using MetaTrader 4 is encrypted using 128-bit technology. The following details have been provided by Spotware regarding cTrader security:

Is cTrader more superior to MT4?

Despite the fact that each platform has advantages and disadvantages, cTrader generally provides better software and more advanced trading tools than the default MT4 platform. The MetaTrader 4 platform provides a better option for automatic trading due to its large community surrounding the development of EAs, whereas cTrader has a trendy user interface and capabilities that are more relevant to day traders and scalpers.