The MetaTrader trading platforms by MetaQuotes are the most popular Forex trading platforms. The developer, MetaQuotes, released MetaTrader 4 back in 2005, right around the time when the retail Forex industry was booming. It is no wonder, therefore, that this came to be the most popular trading platform. Even after MetaQuotes released MetaTrader 5 in 2010, MetaTrader 4 still remains the most popular.
Traders don’t like to change their habits, so they stick to what they know. However, MetaQuotes has been slowly urging brokers to adapt MT5 over MT4 through various enticements, trying to phase out the latter. For traders, they have to wonder what they might find different in MT5. In many ways, the two platforms are very similar – especially in the way they look, but there are still some differences.
MetaTrader 5 has more timeframes and assets
The first release, MT4, has 9 timeframes to work with, but MT5 introduces 12 more timeframes like the 10-minute, 20-minute, 2-hour, 4-hour, yearly timeframes and others. These timeframes were not available in MT4, and some traders may have wished to have them. Now they can with MT5. The idea behind including various timeframes is to make the trading platform versatile enough to fit every trader’s style instead of forcing them to adapt to specific timeframes.
Besides timeframes, MT5 can accommodate more than just forex trading, including other assets like stocks, CFDs, options, futures, etc. With MT4, brokers had to provide different versions of MT4 for other assets besides forex, or offer these assets through a separate platform. MT5 aims to consolidate all of a broker’s services into one platform so that traders can have access to all of it simultaneously.
Development of custom indicators
Since MT4 is already very popular, there are a lot of custom indicators one can find online to use in their trading. These custom indicators are written in MQL4 (MetaQuotes Language), which is a programing language only compatible with MT4. Therefore, these indicators cannot work with MT5 or any other trading platform. Custom technical indicators are very helpful in trading the forex market, and MT5 is struggling to find developers willing to write code for MT5-compatible custom indicators. As a result, MT5 users have a much harder time trying to find indicators than those using MT4.
As for MT5, the platform’s indicators are written in MQL5, an updated version of MT4’s programming language. This new language is supposed to be much easier to use and it is supposed to entice developers to make more custom indicators. Despite how unpopular MT5 is right now, its future is bright because creating custom indicators will be very easy.
New trading order types
MT4 has 4 types of pending orders – buy, sell limits; and buy, sell stops. MT5 introduces buy stop and sell stop limits. A buy stop limit is activated when the specified price is achieved, and the pending order places a buy order above that price and a stop loss below. It is used when a trader believes prices will rise after reaching a target price. The sell stop limit is the opposite, used when you think prices will drop after hitting a ceiling.
MT5 has been made ‘lighter’ and faster in its operations so that there will not be any lag when it comes to executing orders. MT4 is already pretty good, but it has the tendency to lag especially when there are a lot of custom indicators included. MT5 aims to eliminate all such problems.