Before you can begin forex or stock trading, you’ll typically need to open a brokerage account and select a trading platform. Among the most common trading platforms you’ll have access to are the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) interfaces.
Contrary to popular belief, MetaTrader 5 isn’t simply an upgrade of MetaTrader 4 — the platforms offer 2 different sets of tools. Each platform can be useful for different types of traders depending on the securities they’re interested in.
Let's take a look at some of the biggest differences between MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 to help you decide which is the best option.
MetaTrader 4 is a trading platform primarily used to facilitate forex trading. Although the platform’s design was created with forex traders in mind, it can be used with a range of additional security investing options as well. The specific assets that you’ll have access to will vary depending on the broker you’re working with.
MT4 is particularly popular with both forex traders and newer traders thanks to its more simplified platform and customization options. Some of the most prominent features of this platform include:
- 30 built-in indicators. The standard MT4 platform includes 30 indicators that you can use to identify trading opportunities. You can also customize your platform with up to 2,000 free indicators as well as 700 paid indicators. Some examples of free indicators you can access include high-low indicators, Renko indicators, chart group indicators and more.
- Simplified desktop platform. When compared to MT5, you’ll enjoy a more straight-forward ordering process when you use MT4. This can be especially beneficial for forex traders (who need to rely on minute-to-minute executions) and new traders who are having trouble navigating more complex platform offerings.
- A high level of customization. Depending on the broker you use, you’ll also have a wide range of add-on indicators, copy-trading capabilities and much more to make your platform as customized to your needs as possible.
The built-in MetaTrader Market is the world’s widest selection of trading applications. Browse everything from additional indicators to trading robots, many of which are free to use.
MetaTrader 5 is the latest and most advanced trading software offered by MetaQuotes Software and available through FXTM. Unlike MT4, the MT5 platform focuses on offering traders the widest variety of trading and analysis tools. In addition to forex markets, it also focuses on providing access to contracts-for-difference (CFDs), stocks, indexes and futures.
Though the MetaTrader 5 platform is more in-depth and includes more options, its layout can be overwhelming for new traders. MT5 shouldn’t be considered an upgrade to MT4 — instead, it’s a new platform aimed at a different set of traders.
Some examples of benefits that the MT5 platform offers over the MT4 platform include:
- A larger number of execution types. MT5 offers exchange execution mode, which isn’t currently supported through MT4.
- Partial order filling policies. MT5 supports partial fillings of orders if the maximum volume cannot be executed. This option isn’t currently available through MT4, which only supports “fill or kill” orders.
- Market depth options. MT5 introduces market depth options that allow you to create bids and offers for financial security at varying prices depending on the volume. This feature isn’t currently supported by MT4.
MetaTrader 5 expands on many of the features offered by MetaTrader 4, which can make it more suitable for advanced traders looking for a wider range of analysis tools. However, newer traders might prefer the more straightforward layout of MT4, finding MT5’s massive range of features to be overwhelming.
FXTM and MetaTrader
FXTM is a trading and investing brokerage firm that offers you access to a wide range of international markets. Using FXTM, you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies, indexes, metals and stocks, as well major, minor and exotic currency pairs.
While FXTM services your trades and offers its own proprietary FXTM Trader mobile platform, most traders who use their desktops to trade use the MetaTrader 4 or 5 platforms. FXTM supports both MT4 and MT5, with no plans to discontinue either choice.
This allows you to choose the trading platform that’s best fitted to your needs without worrying about switching over after a certain date. Function and investment availability may vary depending on which platform you use.
MT4 and MT5 Similarities
MT4 and MT5 perform many of the same basic functions, with differences varying in the nuances of how you’re able to execute orders. Some of the biggest similarities between MT4 and MT5 include:
- Automated trading system capabilities. Both MT4 and MT5 are automated trading systems that execute securities orders as specified by the user. You’ll need a brokerage account before you can begin trading with either MT4 or MT5.
- Available on a range of desktop systems. Both MT4 and MT5 can operate on your browser of choice — Windows, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge and even Opera.
- Mobile platform availability. In addition to desktop options, both MT4 and MT5 are also compatible with most mobile operating systems, ranging from Mac OS to Windows Vista to Android platforms.
- Hedging. Both platforms support hedging features, which allow you to open positioning in both directions against a security’s movement.
At their core, MetaTrader 4 and 5 are more similar than they are different — they both offer the same basic service — giving traders access to analyze investments before placing orders. The number and types of available analysis tools and asset availability vary, making each platform unique.
MT4 and MT5 Differences
Though MT4 and MT5 were designed for basically the same purpose, there are still many differences between them. Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest differences you’ll notice, which may affect which platform you’ll want to download before you begin trading.
- Target audience. MT4 and MT5 were designed with different types of traders in mind. MT4 offers a simple, easy to navigate platform that’s ideal for beginner traders and those who are overwhelmed by an interface that’s too cluttered. You can customize your MT4 layout using optional indicators and tools as you need them.
While MT5 is similar in this regard, it also includes a much more far-reaching range of capabilities and advanced trading features. MT5 was designed to make stock and futures trading easier by placing the tools these traders most often use upfront and center.
- Programming languages. Both MT4 and MT5 have dedicated programming languages integrated into the platform to make creating trading robots possible. MT4 uses the MQL4 language, which is used to develop trading programs based on order systems. It is the more simplistic of the 2 programming languages.
MT5 uses the MQL5 programming language to implement positional systems. Traders can write positional systems that execute trade requests using a single function. Though a bit more of a learning curve compared to MQL4, MQL5 is more efficient as a language.
- Time frames. A time frame represents the length of time you’d like to investigate when it comes to the price movement of a security. For example, a time frame of 1 day will show you how the asset has moved in price over 24 hours.
MT4 offers access to 9 time frames, ranging from 1 minute to 1 month. MT5 expands its time frame offering to include 21 time frames. Some examples of time frames found on MT5 that are not found on MT4 include 6-hour, 10-minute and 4-hour time frames.
- Pending order availability. A pending order is an order to buy or sell a security at a predefined price in the future. MT4 currently supports 4 types of pending orders: buy stop, buy limit, sell limit, sell stop. MT5 expands this functionality to include buy-stop limits and sell-stop limits.
- Economic calendar availability. MT5 allows you to access an economic calendar directly through your trading platform. This calendar allows you to view macroeconomic news from various countries without flipping between multiple news tabs on your browser. This feature is not currently supported on the MT4 platform.
Which Is Better?
As a trader, you might look at the enhanced range of features offered by MetaTrader 5 over MetaTrader 4 and assume that MT5 is an upgraded (and better) version of MT4. However, the 2 platforms serve different purposes and thus are best suited to different audiences — 1 platform isn’t necessarily better than the other.
If you’re a new trader or you’re only interested in trading forex, you might prefer MetaTrader 4’s straightforward layout and enhanced customization options. If you have more experience trading and you’re looking for the widest range of features possible, MetaTrader 5 might be right for you.
If you need help choosing the platform that will best fit your needs, get in contact with FXTM’s customer service team using your local phone number.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will MT4 be phased out?
Due to the popularity of MetaTrader 4 among forex and novice traders, FXTM will continue to support both MetaTrader 4 and 5. There are currently no plans to phase out MT4 for FXTM users.
Can you use an MT4 account in MT5?
No, however, many brokers that offer access to MT4 also offer access to MT5 and allow you to switch between the 2 platforms as you need.
How much does MetaTrader cost?
Both MT4 and MT5 are available as free downloads. Remember that, while the platform itself might not cost money, you’ll still incur any fees or commissions charged by your broker while using MT4 or MT5 to trade.