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MT4 vs MT5 – What Should You Choose?

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mt4 vs mt5, trading platforms
  • MT4 was released in 2005 and gained widespread adoption quickly due to its intuitive interface. MT5, introduced in 2010, faced slower adoption partly because of the need for traders to migrate strategies and custom indicators from MT4.
  • Key differences include MT5’s superior technical analysis tools, economic calendar, community features, multithreaded backtesting, advanced order execution, and broader asset support compared to MT4.
  • Both platforms use custom programming languages (MQL4 and MQL5). MT5’s MQL5 has a slight advantage with a multithreaded strategy tester, resulting in faster backtesting of trading strategies.
  • Your choice between MT4 and MT5 should align with your trading experience, objectives, and the complexity of your trading strategies, with MT4 being more beginner-friendly and MT5 offering advanced capabilities for experienced traders.

You are probably just about to open a trading account, and your broker is bringing you a choice: MT4 or MT5. Which should you choose? Or, If you are a seasoned trader looking to optimize your trading experience, which platforms should you focus on?

Well, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) are both popular trading platforms, each with its own set of strengths and features. In this article, we’ll dive into the key differences and advantages of both platforms to help you make the best choice. Let’s get to it.

What is MetaTrader4?

MetaTrader 4 was a trailblazer in its own right when it hit the market. Released in 2005, this multi-asset trading platform has since become a staple for CFD and forex traders seeking a reliable platform to execute their strategies.

Its intuitive interface and robust capabilities quickly gained traction among traders worldwide. Initially designed for forex trading, MT4 also accommodates commodities and index instruments via CFDs (Contract for Difference). Moreover, the MT4 mobile app offers a perfect trading experience on the go.

Overall, MT4 is undoubtedly one of the most popular trading platforms for forex and CFD trading.

What is MetaTrader5?

If you are already familiar with MT4, chances are that you may have come across MetaTrader 5, but what is it all about? 

MT5 is the successor to the renowned MT4 platform, offering traders a significant leap forward in trading technology. 

While MT4 primarily focused on forex trading, MetaTrader 5 broadened its horizons. It’s not limited to forex; instead, it opens the door to trading stocks, futures, and commodities all within a single platform. This versatility allows traders to diversify their portfolios with ease.

MT5 was released in 2010, making it the newer sibling in the MetaTrader family. Its development aimed to address the limitations of MT4 and provide traders with more advanced tools and capabilities.

Key Differences Between MetaTrader 4 and 5

When it comes to choosing the right trading platform, understanding the differences between MT4 and MT5  is crucial. Let’s explore the key distinctions that set these two platforms apart.

1. Timeframes and Technical Indicators

Both MT4 and MT5 provide traders with custom analytics tools, but MT5 takes it a step further. Yet, a key difference between MT4 and MT5 is that MT5 offers a wider range of timeframes and an extensive selection of technical indicators and graphical objects. 

While MT4 boasts of 9 timeframes and 30 inbuilt indicators, MT5 comes with 21 timeframes and 38 inbuilt indicators. Also, MT5 has 44 graphical objects, while MT4 only has 31.

MT5 boasts exclusive indicators and tools like the Elliott tools, which are not originally built into MT4. However, thanks to programmers across the MT4 ecosystem, most of these indicators and tools are available as custom indicators and can be installed and downloaded as customer indicators to MetaTrader 4.

2. Financial News and Economic Calendar

Both platforms offer alert functionality and access to financial news. However, MT5 enhances this by including an economic calendar, providing traders with a broader scope of global financial events and their potential impact on the markets.

3. Community and Communication

Although both platforms offer an internal mailing system for seamless communication between traders and brokers, MT5 goes a step further by incorporating built-in community features. This allows users to exchange insights directly within the platform, fostering a collaborative trading environment.

4. Custom Programming Languages 

MT4 has MQL4 as its programming language, while MT5 has MQL5. Learning these custom programming languages can significantly enhance your trading effectiveness on both platforms. These languages are similar and relatively easy to use, but MT5’s MQL5 has a slight advantage regarding back-testing strategies.

MT5 features a multithreaded strategy tester, which translates to faster backtesting of trading strategies. This can be particularly advantageous for traders who rely on historical data to refine their strategies.

Best of all, now that AI bots are widely available, traders can also build trading strategies with ChatGPT and export those to MetaTrader 4 & 5.

5. Order Execution Types

Both platforms offer various types of order execution, including execution on request, execution by market, and instant execution. However, once again, MT5 steps it up by including exchange execution, which can be crucial for traders dealing with exchange-traded assets.

In addition to buy/sell stop and buy/sell limit orders available on both platforms, MT5 introduces different types of pending orders, including buy/sell stop limit orders. These additional order types offer more flexibility in executing trades on the platform.

MetaTrader 4 vs MetaTrader 5 – Full Comparison

Before we dive into why you should choose MT4 or MT5, here’s a table that breaks down their key features and differences, helping you to understand which platform aligns best with your trading objectives and preferences.

AspectMetaTrader 4 (MT4)MetaTrader 5 (MT5)
Release Year20052010
Technical Indicators3038
Graphical Objects3144
Depth of MarketNoYes
Financial News & Economic CalendarBasic economic newsComprehensive economic calendar
Community and CommunicationLimited social featuresBuilt-in community and internal mailing system
Programming LanguagesMQL4MQL5
BacktestingSlower with single-threaded testerFaster with multithreaded strategy tester
Risk ManagementHedgingHedging and Netting
Execution ModesMarket Execution, Instant Execution, Request ExecutionAdditional Exchange Execution mode
Order TypesBuy/Sell Stop, Buy/Sell LimitBuy/Sell Stop, Buy/Sell Limit, Buy/Sell Stop Limit
Asset ClassesPrimarily ForexForex, Stocks, Futures, Commodities/ Exchange Trading is also available
CustomizationCustomizable with custom indicators and scriptsHighly customizable, including additional timeframes
Expert Advisors (EAs)Widely supported by EAsBroad selection of EAs with improved testing capabilities
Broker SupportSupported by many brokersIncreasing support, but fewer brokers may offer it
User BaseVast user baseGrowing user base

Why Should I Choose MT4?

MT4’s enduring popularity in the trading industry for over a decade is no coincidence. It’s a platform that stands out for several compelling reasons.

First and foremost, MT4 boasts a user-friendly interface that is particularly advantageous for beginners. If you’re just starting in the world of trading, this feature alone can be a game-changer. Learning how to use MT4 is fairly simple, and here, we also offer the MT4 free online trading simulator where you can quickly learn how to use the platform.

The platform’s layout is designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate, ensuring accessibility for those who are new to the trading game. As a novice trader, the last thing you want is to be overwhelmed by a lot of complex features and tools that you may not even need. MT4’s simplicity, on the other hand, can help you quickly get up to speed and start placing your trades.

But that’s not all. MT4 goes the extra mile when it comes to educational resources. Many brokers offer tutorials, guides, and even demo accounts tailored explicitly to MT4. This means you can practice your trading skills using virtual funds, allowing you to get a feel for the platform and refine your strategies before risking your hard-earned money. For beginners, this learning environment is truly invaluable.

Moreover, if you are interested in using trading robots to automate your strategies and develop algorithmic trading strategies, then the MT4 is an excellent choice. A multitude of expert advisor (EA) providers primarily focus on developing solutions for MT4. This results in a vast library of EAs that can help automate your trading, whether you’re a novice or an experienced trader.

MT4’s widespread popularity is another significant advantage. Many brokers offer MT4 as their primary trading platform, giving you a wide selection of brokers to choose from. This diversity can be especially beneficial when you’re searching for the right trading conditions and spreads to match your needs and preferences.

MT4 also offers extensive customization options, allowing you to create custom indicators and trading scripts. This level of flexibility is perfect for traders who want to tailor their platform to meet their specific trading requirements.

All in all, popularity is often a sign of a good product. And, that is the case of MT4. It’s simply an excellent trading platform that is easy, and more importantly, fun to use.

Why Should I Choose MT5?

MT4 is certainly a solid trading platform. But, if you’re looking for a more advanced and feature-rich platform, MT5 might just be the perfect fit.

The platform offers an extensive array of 38 technical indicators, 44 graphical objects, and 21 timeframes, surpassing its predecessor, MT4. This impressive toolkit empowers advanced traders to perform thorough market analysis and execute basic and complex trading strategies with precision. It’s the kind of analytical power that can make all the difference in your trading success.

When it comes to order execution, MT5 takes things to the next level with its highly advanced execution modes. You have the flexibility to choose from four types: market execution, instant execution, request execution, and exchange execution. These modes offer unparalleled versatility, allowing you to select the most appropriate execution method for your specific trading requirements. 

MT5 doesn’t stop at basic order types; it introduces buy/sell stop limit orders, providing you with even more nuanced control over your trade executions. This feature caters to complex trading strategies, giving you an edge in the market.

For advanced traders, backtesting is an essential part of refining trading strategies. MT5 simplifies this process with its multithreaded strategy tester, delivering faster and more efficient backtesting results. This can be a game-changer when optimizing your trading algorithms, saving you time and helping you make more informed decisions.

Overall, while MT4 gained fame primarily in the forex market, MT5 has expanded its scope to support a broader range of asset classes, including stocks, futures, commodities, and forex. This versatility allows advanced traders like you to diversify your portfolios and seamlessly explore various markets.

Our Verdict

When considering all the factors, both trading platforms are top-notch. However, the MT5 comes with some more features, tools, and technical aspects that make it the better choice between the two. This does not mean that you should select your broker on the term that it offers MT5. The MetaTrader 4 is still an excellent trading platform with advantages over the MT5. Yet, if you can choose between, we recommend the MT5 over MT4.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions on Metatrader 4/5

Is MetaTrader 4/5 free?

Yes, both MetaTrader 4  and MetaTrader 5  are free to download and use if you plan to trade forex and CFDs. You can easily download MT5 from the Metaquotes website. However, you can only download MT4 from your specific website, as the Metaquotes company no longer offers a download option for the platform.

Can I use both MT4 and MT5?

Yes, you can use both MT4 and MT5, but they are separate platforms. You’ll need to open separate accounts for each platform with your broker if you want to use both simultaneously.

Is MetaTrader5 allowed in the US?

Yes, MetaTrader 5 is allowed in the United States. Many brokers in the US offer MT5 as a trading platform option alongside other platforms.

Can I trade exchange futures on MetaTrader 4 & 5?

Yes, you can trade exchange-traded futures on both MetaTrader 4 and 5, provided that your broker offers access to these markets. Some brokers offer a wide range of futures contracts for trading within these platforms.

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