MetaTrader 4 versus MetaTrader 5: What’s the Difference?

In this article we are going to compare MetaTrader 4 vs MetaTrader 5. Which is better and what’s the difference?

MetaTrader is an electronic trading platform that’s being used mostly by retail traders and brokerage firms. The platform is mostly used for currency trading, also called forex trading. The platform is designed by the MetaQuotes Software Corporation, a Russian company that specializes in forex trading software from their headquarters in Limassol, Cyprus. MetaTrader is world’s most popular trading platform in the forex community. Almost every forex broker and bank uses it’s platform and scripts.

There are two versions of the MetaTrader platform: MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. These platforms are also known as MT4 and MT5 in the forex industry. MT4 was officially released on the first of July 2005. The latest version of MetaTrader, MetaTrader 5, was released 5 years later, on the first of July 2010.

Although the long existence of both trading platforms, most brokers offer the MT4 platform to their traders instead of MT5. Because nowadays the MetaQuotes company only develops MT5 and stopped actively developing MT4, more and more brokers are making the switch from MetaTrader 4 to MetaTrader 5. The most important differences between the two trading platforms we will outline below.

What are the differences between MT4 and MT5?

Supported Markets

One of the biggest differences for traders and investors alike is the different supported markets within the trading platforms. MT4 is specifically designed for forex trading and just a little bit of CFD trading.

The main goal of MT5 was to broaden the selection of offered assets. That’s why nowadays, one can trade futures, stocks, bonds and options apart from just forex and CFD’s, on the MetaTrader 5 trading platform. Because of this one can trade thousands of extra assets on MT5 that aren’t available on MT4.

Market Depth

Market depth is very important and a nice tool for traders and investors so that they can enjoy market liquidity, transparency and the right (inter banking) prices. These features are available on MT5 but not on MT4.

Order Execution

The order procedure at MT4 is called ‘fill or kill‘. This means that every trader’s order has to be executed when a certain volume is reached or the order is cancelled. MT5 offers a more liberal order execution policy, where partial order execution is allowed. If for instance, an order isn’t executed straight away, MetaTrader 5 automatically sets a limit or ‘market order‘ to fill the rest of the volume.

Open Orders

MT4 is designed to accept four different types of open orders. These order types are: buy limit, buy stop, sell limit and sell stop. MT5 can process six different order types. The same four as MT4 but two extra ones, being buy-stop limit and sell-stop limit. With these extra two order types a trader can buy or sell a position when the price reaches or passes a certain entry point and can set the price which he or she would like to open the transaction.

Operating System

MT4 is a lot more compatible with 32-bit operating systems. When MT4 was launched, back in 2005, most computer systems used 32-bits and MT4 was designed to cope with this. Nowadays, most computer systems use 64-bits operating systems and MT5 is designed to profit from this technological improvement. MT5 does work on a 32-bits operating system, but for optimal performance and efficiency, 64-bits operating systems are preferred.

Order Routing

Order routing is a bit archaic with MT4. Forex brokers are required to develop their systems and link to liquidity providers like JP Morgan, CitiBank and other banks and financial institutions. Order routing is seamlessly integrated within the MT5 platform and the built-in functionality this offers can be integrated with systems from huge liquidity providers in the forex arena. These huge companies include not only JP Morgan and CitiBank, but also UBS, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Because of this, retail traders can trade against the same prices and using the same trading systems as top tier 1 banks.

Transaction Requests

The database that hosts the MT4 trading platform can support up to 10 million trading requests at the same time. However, the MT5 trading platform can handle unlimited amounts of transactions. The new database is developed to handle extremely big order flows and process these without harming the integrity of the platform.

Technical Indicators

On the MT4 platform there are 30 usable technical indicators built-in to follow and detect different price patterns on the forex markets. Most of these indicators are designed along mathematical formulas. The amount of technical indicators available within the MT5 platform increased by 8 to 38.

Having said this, both systems allow external indicators to be used on their platforms. Traders can also use their own written scripts, trading robots and Expert Advisors.

Check out our top trading robots and expert advisors here: Auto Trading Brokers

Auto Trading

Chart Drawing Tools

With chart drawing tools traders can draw trend lines like support and resistance levels on different forex charts. MT4 has 31 different drawing tools available for it’s traders, whilst MT5 has 44 different drawing tools available.

One of the best free charting softwares used world wide is TradingView. Read our full Trading Review in this article: TradingView review

TradingView Review

Time Frames

Forex traders use different time frames to analyse the financial markets. Some traders like to trade 30-minute charts whilst others prefer short term trading and use 5-minute charts. The MT4 trading platform offers 9 different time frames. On the MT5 platform, on the other hand, there are a whopping 21 different time frames available to choose and trade from.

Time, Buy and Sell Data

Time, buy and sell data are very popular indicators for forex traders. These data sets provide a detailed insight about the trading activities on a certain forex pair, stock or indices. It shows current volume, price, movement and a time stamp for each transactions. All of this data, including sell data is available from within the MT5 platform only.

Email Communication

Both trading platforms have a built-in email system with which registered users can send and receive messages from and to the trading terminal. MT5 however, also makes it possible to send and receive documents in the form of attachments.

News Updates and Economic Calender

MT5 has a built-in economic calendar in it’s platform. Traders can use this to see real-time news that influences the financial markets. This economic calendar mostly uses published reports from Reuters, central banks and government institutions.

Strategy Tests

With the MT5 trading platform, traders can test different trading strategies using real-time data. Traders can test multiple forex pairs at the same time.

Which Platform is Better, MT4 or MT5?

When MT4 was launched in 2005, it was quickly picked up by the forex community. The platform became the ‘golden standard’ within the forex trading industry. Even today, ten years after the release of the MT5 platform, most traders still use MT4. Does this mean MT4 is a better platform? Not necessarily. Without doubt the MT5 offers more features and trading tools compared to the MT4 platform. These features include economic calender’s, time stamps of buy and sell data, real time strategy testing, a more liberal order execution policy, transparency regarding market depth, a bigger selection technical indicators and chart drawing tools and the opportunity to use and trade several more time frames.

At first glance MT5 seems like an superior product compared to MT4. But if MT5 is a better platform, why do most traders still use MT4 then? The answer is that the MT4 platform furfills it’s role within the forex community. So, however the MT5 platform offers more features, the forex industry has been quite slow in implementing it. MT5 was mainly designed to attract non-forex traders to it’s platform, with access to stocks, bonds, options and futures. The MT4 platform can only execute forex and CFD transactions. That’s why MT5 draws a bigger audience of traders.

Because of the MetaQuote company not developing nor actively supporting the MT4 platform anymore, more traders and brokers will slowly move over to the new and better MT5 trading platform.

Top Brokers offering MT4

Broker Info Bonus US Traders Get Started
AxiTrader Spread: from 0.1 pips
Leverage: up to 500:1
Min Account Size: $1
Demo Account: Open
30 day free demo trial Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
City Index Spread: from 0.5 pips
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:30
Min Account Size: $100
Demo Account: No
Tight, fixed spreads USA Allowed Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
XM Spread: from 0.0 pips
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:30
Min Account Size: $5
Demo Account: Open
$30 No Deposit Bonus Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
Markets.com Spread: Markets.com charges tight spreads on forex, stock and commodities based on type of account.
Leverage: 1:50 up to 1:300
Min Account Size: $100
Demo Account: Open
Free Webinars Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
CryptoRocket Spread: Low variable spreads from 0.5 pips on USD/JPY
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:500
Min Account Size: $1
Demo Account: Open
no active bonus Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
Pepperstone Spread: from as low as 0.1 pips, depending on account type
Leverage: 1:1 up to 500:1
Min Account Size: $1
Demo Account: Open
Active Trader program rebates paid daily Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
Rakuten Securities Australia Spread: Low, fixed spreads from 0.5 pips
Leverage: 100:1 or 400:1 depending on account type
Min Account Size: $50
Demo Account: Open
Free VPS Service Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
Admiral Markets Spread: from 0.0. usual EUR/USD spread 0.6 and DAX 0.8
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:30 for retail clients, up to 1:500 for professional clients
Min Account Size: €1
Demo Account: Open
No active bonus or promotion Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
OctaFX Spread: low competitive spreads from 0.2 pips per trade
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:500
Min Account Size: $5
Demo Account: Open
50% bonus on each deposit Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
GO Markets Spread: from 0.0 pips
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:500
Min Account Size: none
Demo Account: Open
20% credit bonus Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
CMTrading Spread: Low, fixed spreads
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:400
Min Account Size: $1
Demo Account: Open
Deposit $250 get $100 on top Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
FX Choice Spread: variable spreads from a slow as 0.5 pips on EUR/USD
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:200
Min Account Size: $100
Demo Account: Open
15% on first deposit USA Allowed Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
LMFX Spread: from just 0.2 pips on EUR/USD
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:1000
Min Account Size: None
Demo Account: Open
100% upon first deposit USA Allowed Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
BlackBull Markets Spread: from 0.2 pips EUR/USD + commission $3 per side
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:500
Min Account Size: None
Demo Account: Open
Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
ActivTrades Spread: From 0.50 pips
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:30 for professional traders up to 1:500
Min Account Size: None
Demo Account: Open
20% cashback for non-EU clients Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
HY Markets Spread: 0.5 - 1.8 pips
Leverage: 100:1 to 300:1
Min Account Size: $50
Demo Account: Open
10% cash or 25% trading credits bonus Open free demo account Read / Submit Review

Top Brokers offering MT5

Broker Info Bonus US Traders Get Started
XM Spread: from 0.0 pips
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:30
Min Account Size: $5
Demo Account: Open
$30 No Deposit Bonus Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
ForexTime (FXTM) Spread: 0 pips*
Leverage: 1:1, 10:1, 50:1, 100:1, 200:1, 500:1, 1000:1
Min Account Size: $1
Demo Account: Open
$2 cashback per lot or $4 for *broker move overs Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
Admiral Markets Spread: from 0.0. usual EUR/USD spread 0.6 and DAX 0.8
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:30 for retail clients, up to 1:500 for professional clients
Min Account Size: €1
Demo Account: Open
No active bonus or promotion Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
GO Markets Spread: from 0.0 pips
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:500
Min Account Size: none
Demo Account: Open
20% credit bonus Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
FX Choice Spread: variable spreads from a slow as 0.5 pips on EUR/USD
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:200
Min Account Size: $100
Demo Account: Open
15% on first deposit USA Allowed Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
BlackBull Markets Spread: from 0.2 pips EUR/USD + commission $3 per side
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:500
Min Account Size: None
Demo Account: Open
Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
ActivTrades Spread: From 0.50 pips
Leverage: 1:1 up to 1:30 for professional traders up to 1:500
Min Account Size: None
Demo Account: Open
20% cashback for non-EU clients Open free demo account Read / Submit Review
Although there still being a lot of MT4 brokers, it doesn’t mean MT5 is an inferior product. Instead, it means that the forex community is quite happy, in general, with the features offered by the MT4 trading platform. Both platforms are perfectly able to offer superior functions within the trading community, but it’s most likely that the amount of MetaTrader 5 brokers will increase in the upcoming months and years to come.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article may use affiliate links, meaning that we receive a commission if you setup an account with a broker after visiting them through our link. These commissions help to cover the costs of running this website, and do not add any extra cost to you (in some cases, it provides you with better rates), as our commission is covered by the broker.

Got friends, trader buddies or family that still uses MetaTrader 4 and tells you that it’s better than MetaTrader 5? Share or link this article to them and prove you where right after all using MetaTrader 5!

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