When I first started in Forex trading, MetaTrader 4 was by far the best charting and trading platform available.
But as time went by, competitors started to pop up, and TradingView is one of them.
Is TradingView better than MT4?
Well, that just depends on what you need.
This article will give you all the facts so you can figure out which one is best for you.
What TradingView is famous for is finally creating web charts that work exceptionally well.
Previous versions of online charts were clunky and would often crash.
TradingView charts are smooth and have tons of features, just as many, if not more than traditional downloadable platforms.
It is a trading and charting platform that will run on most browsers and mobile devices.
This means that Mac and Linux users can also use the full version of TradingView.
Since the majority of functions run on the TradingView servers, there is nothing for traders to download.
Everything is stored on TradingView's servers and accessible through most browsers on most desktops or laptops.
The biggest benefit of this infrastructure is that you can save alerts on the TradingView servers and your computer does not have to stay online for you to receive them.
Another big breakthrough with TradingView is that you can run a very similar app on desktop and mobile. Other trading platforms have very limited mobile offerings.
The only real potential downside is that it's a paid app. But I see that as a benefit because it ensures that they will have the income to continue to improve the platform.
But how does it compare to MT4?
Keep reading and I'll break it down for you…
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Overview
MT4 is a downloadable program that you can run on desktops, in browsers and on mobile devices.
Only the desktop version is fully featured however, and the mobile and browser versions are only capable of doing very basic functions.
There are ways to install MT4 on Mac or Linux, but they are not always reliable. I've found that custom indicators and EAs might not work perfectly with these installations, so it's best to stick with Windows.
In my experience, the biggest headache with MT4 happens when you want to use multiple computers and keep your settings between the computers.
This method can help a little, but it's not ideal. You will get the best results if you run MetaTrader on just one primary desktop or laptop.
MT4 Web runs on almost any browser, but again you cannot install custom indicators or EAs.
Therefore, the web version is only good for managing trades, or if you don't need custom EAs or indicators.
The mobile app version of MT4 is primarily for managing trades on the go and receiving alerts from the desktop version of MT4. Custom indicators and EAs also cannot be installed on this platform.
When it comes to automated trading programs or “bots,” MetaTrader has long been the gold standard, with a fantastic combination of a powerful programming language and a large codebase of examples to help beginners get started.
You can create almost any automated trading program that can be programmed into a computer with the MT4 programming language MQL4.
Now let's get into more details on the features in each platform so you can understand which one would be the best one for you.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the important features of each software.
|Works on most browsers on most operating systems. Also have a mobile app.
|Desktop version is only reliable on Windows. Mobile and web versions have limited functionality.
|Fully automated Strategy Tester that is used to backtest Pine Script trading strategies. The cheaper plans don't have enough historical data on the lower timeframes to be of any use.
|Fully automated Expert Advisor (EA) testing environment that can run backtesting on deep historical data. Can also upload custom backtesting data.
|Must use a spreadsheet for manual backtesting. The cheaper plans don't have enough historical data on the lower timeframes to be of any use.
|Must use a spreadsheet for manual backtesting. A good free option for traders who are on a budget.
|Can create alerts with almost any indicator. Don't have to keep computer on to get alerts.
|Need to custom program alert indicators. Computer must be online and running MT4 to get alerts.
|Can accommodate nano lots, as well as standard lot sizes.
|Standard micro, mini and full lot sizes.
|Custom Indicators and Automated Trading Programs
|Yes, with Pine Script.
|Yes, with the MQL4 programming language.
|Backtesting Data Availability
|Very limited, have to purchase one of the more expensive plans to get full access to historical data.
|Free data goes back a long way and custom data can be uploaded from third party sources.
|Trading Performance Analytics
|Very basic, just a list of trades.
|Very basic, just a list of trades and a couple of graphs. Have to import into NakedMarkets for review.
|Indicator and Automated Strategy Availability
|Growing library of free and paid custom indicators and automated strategies.
|Large existing library of free and paid custom indicators and automated strategies.
|Must use paid version to access all of the useful features, but you can test out the free trial here.
|Free and available through most Forex brokers.
TradingView vs MT4: How to Choose the Best One For You
The best platform for you is going to depend mainly on which features you need and how much money you want to spend.
If you're concerned about price, then MT4 is the way to go. You can start with MT4 for free and you can upgrade to TradingView later, after you become consistently profitable.
On the other hand, if money is not a concern, then I would suggest going with TradingView.
It's a lot more convenient because everything is hosted in the cloud, so you don't have to worry about your computer crashing, or not being able to use multiple computers.
MT4 is the best choice for automated traders.
The MQL4 programming language is more proven and can do pretty much any complex function you can think of. There is also a very large selection of example code available.
Pine Script in TradingView is still developing and is not reliable enough to use with real money.
For automated backtesting, MT4 wins, hands down. It has more historical data available and the programming language can do more things.
If you're doing manual backtesting, then these are not good options. I would recommend using this instead.
In terms of ease of use, MT4 is not bad, but TradingView is significantly easier to use.
MetaTrader hasn't changed much since I first started using it and it's starting to show its age.
So take inventory of what you are looking for in a trading/charting platform and get started!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you're still having trouble deciding which platform is better, here's a list of FAQs that can help you figure it out.
Can I Add Custom Alerts to MT4 Mobile or Web?
No, MT4 web and mobile are only for simple functions like using built-in indicators and placing trades.
You cannot add custom EAs and indicators to these versions.
Which Platform is Better For Getting Alerts?
TradingView is much better because you can add alerts to almost any indicator and your computer does not have to be on for you to get alerts on your mobile device.
With MetaTrader 4, your computer has to be on, or you have to pay for a Virtual Private Server (VPS). In addition, not all indicators have alert capabilities and you usually have to get an alert indicator custom programmed because it's not available out of the box.
Is TradingView or MT4 Better For Automated Trading?
As this is being written, MT4 is a better platform for automated trading. The reason is that MQL4 is a more mature programming language and can do complex functions.
However, Pine Script inside TradingView is constantly being improved and I'm very confident that at some point, it will be just as good, if not better than MQL4.
That's everything you need to know about TradingView vs MT4 and how to choose the best one for you.
Even though both of them are trading and charting platforms, what they offer is actually quite a bit different.
The best way to choose the one you want to use is to try them out.
Download MT4 from your favorite broker and setup a demo account.
Then sign up for a free TradingView trial and sign up for a paper trading account.
Place a few demo trades and see which one you like better.
Disclaimer: Some links on this page are affiliate links. We do make a commission if you purchase through these links, but it does not cost you anything extra and we only promote products and services that we wholeheartedly believe in.