No results

cTrader vs. MetaTrader: Key Differences and Similarities

Fusion Markets

post content image

In the fast-paced world of forex trading, having access to a reliable and efficient trading platform is paramount to your trading success. Among the titans of the forex trading platform world, two names stand out: cTrader and MetaTrader 4/5 (MT4 and MT5). These platforms have amassed an extensive user base and earned their loyal followings.


In this article, we'll delve into the intricacies of each platform, comparing their features, advantages, and limitations, to help you determine which platform is right for you.

Metatrader vs cTrader table of differences and similarities



User Interface and Customisation

Charting and Technical Analysis

Order Types and Placement

Algorithmic Trading and Expert Advisors

Mobile Trading

The Genesis of cTrader and MetaTrader

MetaTrader is the brainchild of MetaQuotes Software. The company introduced the first version, MetaTrader 4 (MT4), in 2005. Its successor, MetaTrader 5 (MT5), followed in 2010, bringing a host of new features and capabilities to the table.


cTrader was launched by Spotware Systems Ltd. in 2011, aiming to provide traders with a platform that offers a user-friendly interface and advanced functionalities. cTrader's main focus is on creating a seamless trading experience for both beginner and experienced traders alike.


User Interface and Customisation

One of the most significant factors in a trading platform's popularity is its user interface (UI). Despite MT4 being somewhat outdated compared to cTrader's modern design, both offer clean and intuitive interfaces, making them relatively easy for traders to navigate. However, they have different approaches when it comes to customisation.


cTrader takes the lead in UI customisation, allowing traders to personalise their workspace extensively. Users can arrange and resize various windows, add or remove trading indicators, and set up multiple charts on a single screen. This level of flexibility empowers traders to create an environment tailored to their specific trading needs.


On the other hand, MetaTrader, especially MT4, has a more rigid UI, with limited customisation options. While MT5 improved in this aspect, it still lags behind cTrader's superior customisation features. 


Charting and Technical Analysis

In terms of charting and technical analysis, both platforms deliver robust solutions. Traders can access a wide range of chart types, timeframes, and drawing tools on both cTrader and MetaTrader.


cTrader stands out with its intuitive charting package, providing more than 70 pre-installed indicators and a smooth drawing experience. It also offers Level II pricing data with its 3 depth of market (DoM) types (Standard, Price, VWAP), giving traders a greater insight into market depth and liquidity.


MetaTrader, however, remains a popular choice for technical analysis enthusiasts, thanks to its massive library of third-party indicators and analytical tools. This vibrant community-driven ecosystem ensures that traders have access to an extensive arsenal of tools to refine their strategies.

Let's dive into the specifics:

MetaTrader 4

Chart Types: MetaTrader 4 supports three fundamental chart types, namely Bar, Line, and Candlestick.

Timeframes: Nine distinct timeframes, spanning from 1 minute to 1 month.

Analytical Objects: 24 analytical objects, including lines, channels, shapes, arrows, and essential Gann and Fibonacci tools.

Technical Indicators: 30 built-in technical indicators. Furthermore, traders can explore over 2,000 free custom indicators and access 700 premium indicators available in the Code Base.

Chart Views: The platform allows traders to open an unlimited number of charts simultaneously. Moreover, traders can personalize their charts by creating templates that define specific attributes such as color schemes, chart types, scales, line studies, and applied indicators.


Chart Types: cTrader comes with 8 chart types, but also includes additional variations such as tick and pip charts. These chart types include Bar, Line, Candlestick, Heikin-Ashi, HLC, Dot, Tick (configurable with 27 settings), Renko (with 19 settings), and Range-based charts (with 22 settings).

Timeframes: cTrader features 26 timeframes with the standard chart and over 50 timeframes and six zoom levels across all chart types (including tick and pip charts).

Analytical Objects: The platform boasts 33 analytical objects. 

Technical Indicators: cTrader offers 70 built-in technical indicators.

Chart Views: cTrader introduces Chart Views, allowing traders to detach charts and use them as separate tradable desktop applications across multiple screens. Additionally, ChartShot enables traders to share trading examples and strategies relatively easily.


Order Types and Placement

Now that we've got a comprehensive view of the differences in charting, let's delve into the nuances of order placement in MetaTrader and cTrader, highlighting their distinct approaches and functionalities:

Order Placement in cTrader

  • Weekend Order Placement: Traders using cTrader have the unique advantage of placing waiting orders during weekends, even when the markets are closed. This feature facilitates meticulous planning and analysis, allowing traders to prepare for the trading week ahead.

  • Specialized Order Types: cTrader goes a step further by introducing specialized order types like Buy or Sell Limit, adding an additional layer of risk management and trading versatility to the platform.

  • Click-and-Drag: Waiting orders, such as Buy Limit or Sell Stop, can be placed by selecting the order type and adjusting its position through an intuitive click-and-drag action directly on the chart.

  • Specialised Stop-Out features: Smart Stop-Out (partial closure while retaining entry) and Fair Stop-Out (full closure to maximize margin for active positions) give traders better risk management tools.

Order Placement in MetaTrader

  • Traditional Approach: MetaTrader employs traditional methods for order placement, necessitating traders to click directly on the desired spot in the chart to execute waiting orders.

  • Limited Specialized Order Types: MetaTrader has all the necessary order types needed for trading but lacks some of the more advanced features like cTrader's smart stop out.

Algorithmic Trading and Expert Advisors

The next significant aspect we need to consider is automated trading. In MetaTrader applications, both MT4 and MT5, traders can utilise Expert Advisors (EAs), which are manually coded programs designed for automated tasks, such as technical analysis of price data and executing positions on specific instruments.


When comparing MT4 to MT5, the primary difference between their Expert Advisors lies in the programming language they employ. Since MQL4 has been in use for a longer time than MQL5, there is a more extensive collection of pre-written scripts and codes available for traders to create their personal Expert Advisors, even if they lack programming knowledge. On the other hand, MQL5 is a simpler programming language, making it easier for traders to create new scripts themselves.


Regarding cTrader, it also offers similar programs known as cBots, which function similarly to Expert Advisors. As mentioned earlier, cTrader uses the widely recognised C# programming language, theoretically making it the most versatile among the three languages (MQL4, MQL5, and C#) with a larger consumer base. 


However, in reality, cBots are less popular than Expert Advisors (EAs), and the reason for this is that the online trading community supporting EAs is much larger than that of cBots. Consequently, there are more pre-existing templates available for MT4/MT5 compared to cTrader. 


Mobile Trading

Mobile trading has become an integral part of the modern trading experience. Both platforms offer mobile applications for iOS and Android devices, enabling traders to stay connected to the markets on the go.


cTrader's mobile app is widely acclaimed for its user-friendly design and seamless functionality. It provides real-time quotes, interactive charts, and order execution capabilities, giving traders full control over their portfolios from the palm of their hand.


MetaTrader's mobile app, too, is highly regarded and offers a range of features for on-the-go trading. It allows traders to access their accounts, execute trades, and monitor markets in real time.




In conclusion, both cTrader and MetaTrader are powerful trading platforms, each with its own set of unique features and strengths. cTrader shines in its user-friendly interface, extensive customisation options, and array of features. On the other hand, MetaTrader's widespread popularity gives traders a great pool of resources to draw on and stronger community support, while having all the tools needed to be successful in the markets.


Ultimately, the choice between cTrader and MetaTrader depends on individual preferences, trading styles, and specific needs. Traders should consider their asset preferences, technical analysis requirements, and whether they prefer a larger community-driven ecosystem or a more user-friendly interface with more features. Regardless of the choice, both platforms have significantly contributed to enhancing the trading experience for millions of traders worldwide.

Ready to Start Trading?

  1. Sign Up for Fusion Markets, Australia's Lowest Cost Forex Provider*

  2. Create Your cTrader or MetaTrader 4 or 5 Account.

  3. Download Your Preferred Version of cTrader (Desktop, Mobile - iOS and Android), MetaTrader 4 (Desktop, Mobile - iOS and Android) or MetaTrader 5.
    Trade With Your Browser with cTrader WebTrader, MetaTrader 4 WebTrader or MetaTrader 5 WebTrader.

  4. Fund Your Account

  5. Start Trading!

We’ll never share your email with third-parties. Opt-out anytime.

Relevant articles

post image main
Top Forex Events In The New Millennium
Fusion Markets

Foreign exchange (FOREX) goes through ups and downs. Some events had stripped bare the possible volatility of the market, causing fear in the hearts of investors. Here are some top events since the year 2000 that caused chaos in the markets.

2013 Forex Probe

The Forex Probe of 2013 was a scandal that revealed how international banks had been working together for at least a decade to tweak Forex market exchange rates.  


Again, this event was all about investor fears of market manipulation as a result of bank collusion.  It wasnt easy to trust the market again after such practices were revealed. 


Four major banks admitted involvement, but the 2013 Forex Probe remains one of the most impactful foreign exchange events since 2000, even though the banks paid up $6 billion in fines.  


Greek Debt Crisis

In 2013, the Greek economy revealed its fragility, although it already showed some cracks during the 2007 worldwide financial crisis.  

It looked like Greece was going into an irreparable downfall. Still, the European Union overextended itself by granting it a generous loan of £68 billion. While the EU might have saved Greece, this move would remain one of the top events in Forex history for such a large amount of money changing hands.  


The consequences of the crisis could still be felt as Greece’s debt problems reverberated in 2015. Because Greece couldn’t reach its deal, some currencies surged, such as the Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc found which found themselves on the rise.  


However, other currencies didn’t fare so well in 2015. The Euro plunged in the Asian trading session. The dollar also experienced a one-month low of 122.10 yen.  


Political uncertainty in one country can affect many other countries, and sometimes the impact lasts for years. That is why the Greek Debt Crisis of 2013 makes it to our list of the most significant Forex events in the new millennium.  


2016 Sterling Flash Crash


Since we have already looked at what a flash crash is about, we can go straight to how the Sterling Pound lost its value within seconds on the 7th of October 2016.  


A fat finger error was suspected, but the Bank for International Settlements ruled that there was no proof it was the case. Further investigations revealed that algorithmic trading programs had triggered the crash. The algorithm issue was paired with traders who didn’t want to take much risk.  


GBP/USD - Sep-Nov 2016 - Forex chart


British Pound/U.S. Dollar – Sep-Nov 2016





Brexit 2016 caused panic in the European Union, especially when its economic effects were felt. Of course, it also had an impact on the foreign exchange market. 


The story of Britain’s breakup with the European Union was one of the top events in politics and Forex history. It went to show just how intricately related these aspects were.  


The UK’s unexpected move was what created the panic. Understandably, something so unprecedented had to affect the market. Right before the votes were out, the British pound sterling was moving in an upswing trend. However, it ended in a closing of 8% down for the GBP/USD pair on that day. 


A slide preceded the Brexit-caused slump for about a year.  


USD/JPY and AUD/USD Flash Crash of 2019

You may believe that Apple is mainly influential in the technology market. Think again. Its reaches have some effects on the foreign exchange market, as well.  


Apple’s statement in January 2019 that emphasised the Chinese economy’s struggle had several investors selling their most volatile currencies. 


When investors lose confidence in the Chinese economy, their trust in the AUD and JPY also fluctuates. After all, Australia is its most important trading partner.  


Therefore, a simple statement from Apple in 2019 has caused one of the most significant foreign exchange crashes of recent years.  



U.S. Dollar/Japanese Yen – Jan 2019


Swiss Francs Crash 


In the same year, in February, the Swiss franc also suffered a crash. However, some considered this an inconsequential event.  


The Swiss Franc experienced a significant drop during the Asian trading session on the 10th of February. It dropped against the US dollar and other major peers.  


When the Japanese markets closed for National Foundation Day, the Swiss francs suffered from a lack of liquidity.  


Another critical Swiss franc crash happened a few years prior to this, in January 2015. The flash rally, as some call it, occurred after the Swiss National Bank announced that its currency would no longer be pegged at 1.20 against the Euro. Because of this, the franc went up by 20% against not only the Euro but also some major currencies.  


2020 Black Swan Event


The Black Swan event certainly caused a stir in the financial markets. Moreover, it points to the fall of the most popular of cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin. 


So, when the cryptocurrency fell to almost 4970 USD per coin, it caused sheer panic among investors. That was an 80% loss in value. For comparison, its 2017 value was at 19716 USD. 


Bitcoin was not alone in creating fear among investors, as Ethereum also dipped from 285 USD to 110 USD. COVID-19 was believed to be the cause of the plunge.  


Because the cryptocurrency crisis of 2022 was considered a Black Swan event, it affected other financial markets, including foreign exchange.  


The fear generated by black swans is especially fearsome due to their ability to wipe out entire accounts. Reliance on standard forecasting tools can fail to predict potential damages, and that is what makes black swan events so rare and devastating. 


Coronavirus Pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to make its effects known in various industries worldwide. During that crisis economic growth expectations were downgraded in fear that major economic sectors had to be shut down due to the increasing coronavirus cases. That uncertainty reduced the demand for local currencies and investment funds. In addition, it impacted exchange rates and the fluctuating value of the US dollar as a world reserve currency.  


As a result, economic and political measures created significant changes worldwide and left a mark in Forex history. 




While there may be more FOREX-related events in the past and the upcoming future that will affect the market, the above are the ones that still have tangible impacts in the past few years. It is crucial for forex traders to stay ahead of an ever-changing market, and one of the ways to achieve it is to understand its history. 


To access the world’s markets easier and at a lower cost get a live account with Fusion Markets. 

Ready to Start Trading?
Get started live or get a free demo