cTrader Vs. MetaTrader 5 for Manual Trading

cTrader Vs. MetaTrader 5

There is no denying that the MetaTrader 4 platform has dominated the Forex trading space since the beginning. In November 2016, MetaQuotes announced that they will discontinue the MT4 platform. In January 2018 the company further strengthened its stance by stating they will no longer sell new licences of MetaTrader 4. This interesting turn of events takes MT4 out of the race. In this article, we look at the key differences between cTrader and MetaTrader 5.

When you are comparing cTrader with MetaTrader 5 or MetaTrader 5 with cTrader there are a lot of things to consider. We hope this article will help you to make an informed decision.

Introduction to MetaTrader 5

MetaTrader 5 is the product of MetaQuotes. It was intended to be the successor of the MetaTrader 4 platform. However, MT4 was so deeply rooted in the online trading world that not even MetaQuotes stood a chance of knocking MT4 from it’s thrown. MT5 has started to be adopted by Forex and CFD brokers, but slowly and reluctantly it would seem. The platform doesn’t look that much different from MT4, but still different enough to disorientate a seasoned MT4 user. The platform also doesn’t offer that much extra functionality, but it does require users to reprogram their Expert Advisors for little gain.


Introduction to cTrader

cTrader was first released in April 2011 with FxPro being the first broker to launch. IC Markets and Pepperstone followed shortly after in 2013. Over the years Spotware (the company who created cTrader) have performed countless updates. The company has proven itself to be very trader centric by providing meaningful updates based on community feedback. Additionally, the company endeavours to follow it’s own trademarked Traders First approach.

General Navigation

MetaTrader 5 does not differ much from MT4 when it comes to design. The platform follows the same rigid windows 98 style design pattern and all settings and features remain pretty much in the same place. While this would be useful for users switching from MT4 to MT5, it raises the question, what would be the point in switching in the first place if the platforms are so similar? Judging from the design style of MT5 and MT4, you would think that the interface is designed with an older audience in mind.

cTrader has a clean and modern interface, especially when compared to MetaTrader 5. While the colours of the chart elements can be extensively customized on both platforms, cTrader offers a light and dark theme. This may seem trivial but actually makes a big impact to users in different environments.


The first key difference is the way you interact with charts. On MT5 you need to select the active chart, and then apply any changes to settings. On cTrader each chart has it’s own toolbar to make it a bit easier to control charts. Both platforms come equipped with an almost equal number of indicators. MT5 does offer a few more types of objects such as Fibonacci, Gann and Channel tools. A few major advantages that cTrader has are a chart linking feature and detachable charts. This allows you to spread your charts across multiple monitors.

Some other merits that cTrader offers include are much more timeframes and the ability to show ticks on the main chart where indicators and different chart types can be used, not only in the Market Watch section with a Line Chart, as is the case on MT5.

Order Types

When it comes to trading and order types, both platforms have the most important order types. In this respect, there is not much to tell the two platforms apart. The key differences to note are how the order types function. A good example of this would be cTrader allowing you to place pending orders even when the market is closed. MT5, on the other hand, does not allow this.

cTrader lets you choose the trade-side that will trigger your stop orders and also lets you choose for your stop orders to be triggered by the second consecutive price. This prevents your Stop Orders from being triggered by off-market prices that will cause you to enter the market at a disadvantage and probably the ordeal of having to go through retribution with your broker.

Also, cTrader makes it very easy to configure order protection settings before entering the market. The new order tickets calculate and show the risks and rewards of your settings in a variety of contexts before you go ahead and place the order. cTrader also offers server-side trailing stop losses and a variety of different protection settings. These protection settings include advanced Take Profit which allows you to scale out of a profitable position at different exit points and the option to move Stop Loss to break even point with the option to add a number of pips on top of the break-even point.

Execution + Transparency

cTrader is well known for being a transparent trading platform. Some MT4 and MT5 brokers have managed to earn themselves a shameful reputation through the use of the platform. cTrader, on the other hand, has not had any clients end up being part of any scandal. The platform was designed to connect directly with liquidity providers to offer genuine market conditions and allow brokers to really act as brokers and pass your trades to their counterparties.

Spotware has stated it many times in various announcements, the platform is hosted by them and brokers do not have access to trade databases where they can manipulate historical data. MetaTrader 5 is hosted by brokers where they are able to manipulate records, obviously, this is totally illegal and should not happen by any regulated broker. The point being made is it’s possible.

cTrader displays the most detailed order tickets for every order, deal or position that you make. There is a very useful position timeline which shows you all the changes that you made to your position, such as changing stop loss, increasing or decreasing the position size and swaps being applied etc. cTrader’s deal tickets even show a market snapshot from the moment your order was executed.


Both cTrader and MT5 are available on Windows Desktop, Web, iOS and Android. MT5, however, goes a step further and has a native application for Mac OS. While MT5 does have all of these applications available, the business model of cTrader and MetaQuotes are a bit different. This is because cTrader gives all brokers all the versions of the applications they offer. Whereas MetaQuotes charge for each version of the application, meaning some brokers may not offer the Mac version or mobile versions.

The number of brokers offering MT5 is greater than cTrader. Even though the introduction of the MetaTrader 5 platform with brute force was not well received by brokers, MetaQuotes were well positioned to push their product to their existing clients, which is basically the whole market. This means there are more MT5 brokers in the market. However, finding a cTrader broker is not hard, thanks to our complete list of cTrader brokers and detailed reviews.

Are you Ready to Start Trading on cTrader?

Key Differences

The big differences between cTrader and MetaTrader 5 are slightly lost on manual traders. For example, cTrader’s key features are its copy trading feature, cTrader ID and being able to save your preferences in the cloud. Both platforms differ also differ a lot when it comes to algorithmic trading. cTrader also offers free and available FIX API trading and Open API trading interfaces. MT5 has a marketplace for offering different services, whereas cTrader does not. The benefits of these major differentiators become trivial for traders who mainly focus on charting tools and order types, where on paper, the scope of these features don’t differ much between the platforms.


For manual traders, comfort and speed are the most important attributes they look for. For a new trader and looking for a platform to try, we strongly recommend cTrader. If you are an existing MT5 user and manual trader and are happy with the old-school appearance of the platform, there is not much to compel you to switch. cTrader is certainly the clear winner when it comes to aesthetics and it does have the upper hand thanks to the transparency factors.

If you are interested in trying MetaTrader 5, we suggest JDC Markets, our preferred MT5 broker.


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