MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5

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MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5?

the most popular
Forex trading platform

MetaTrader 5

MetaTrader 4

MetaTrader 4 is a platform for trading Forex, analyzing financial markets and using Expert Advisors. Mobile trading, Trading Signals and the Market are the integral parts of MetaTrader 4 that enhance your Forex trading experience.

Millions of traders with a wide range of needs choose MetaTrader 4 to trade in the market. The platform offers ample of opportunities to traders of all skill levels: advanced technical analysis, flexible trading system, algorithmic trading and Expert Advisors, as well as mobile trading applications.

Signals and Market additional services extend MetaTrader 4 frontiers. The Signals service allows you to copy trades of other traders, while the Market provides you with various Expert Advisors and Technical indicators that you can buy.

MetaTrader 4 vs 5 – Which One? (2020 Review)

Choosing the right Forex trading platform is one of the key elements that most traders are curious about. In the list of the top platforms, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) remains as the most popular, however, since the appearance of MetaTrader 5 (MT5) in 2020, the debate of whether using one version or another has grown significantly.

The main difference between the two versions is that MT4 focuses on Forex trading and CFDs, while MT5 also includes other assets like stocks and futures. Secondly, MT4 has hedging, and MT5 has hedging and netting. In regards to algorithmic trading, MT5 has a multi-currency strategy tester and it is faster at testing and optimization in comparison to MT4.

In this article, we will review the differences between the two platforms, so you can make a decision on which one should you use and answer the main question everybody is interested in:

Do I stick with MetaTrader 4 or should I switch to MetaTrader 5?

First, in Part A, we will talk about the core differences between MT4 and MT5. Then in Part B, we will give you something you won’t find anywhere else. A detailed year-by-year analysis of how MT4 and MT5 have been developing over the past decade. Finally, in the third section, we will draw a conclusion.

Table of Contents

Part A – MetaTrader 4 vs 5: Core Differences

Often when you read about MT4 vs MT5 you see a table and a side-by-side comparison of the two. However, in this article we will focus on what is crucial for you as a trader, especially if you are getting started.

There are only three core differences between the two platforms. These are:

  • Number of Markets
  • Tools for Market Analysis
  • MQL4 vs MQL5

Let’s go over them one-by-one:

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Number of Markets

MetaQuotes had already dominated the Forex market with their revolutionary MT4 platform. The main reason why MetaQuotes developed MT5 is to enable access to markets that are not available in MT4. Here’s a sample list of exchanges which you can access via MetaTrader 5 already today:

MetaTrader 4 is great for the decentralized, open, and highly unregulated on a global scale FX market. However, it doesn’t check all the boxes as a platform for other markets.

It’s just not designed that way: to connect directly to exchanges, like those listed above, the platform has to integrate with gateways for those exchanges – that’s how it will get quotes and market news, and perform trade operations. Plus, there are heaps of other nuances.

While markets like Warsaw Stock Exchange and ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) are good wins, they are not the main goal for MetaQuotes. The big prize are the US Equity Markets or Stock Markets with there trillions of dollars market cap:

Access to more markets can be beneficial for experienced traders that want to trade to shares from companies like Tesla or Amazon. However, for the average Forex trader, this makes not much of a difference.

Tools for Market Analysis

Timeframes

While MetaTrader 4 only offers 9 timeframes, MetaTrader 5 offers 21 timeframes; this can give traders an edge for more analysis of the market. However, if you like to code in MQL4, in MetaTrader 4 you can rebuild virtually any timeframe in MT4 using the period converter script.

Types of Charts (Timeframes) MetaTrader 4 MetaTrader 5
Minute M1,M5,M15,M30 M1,M2,M3,M4,M5,M6,M10,M12,M15,M20,M30
Hourly H1,H4 H1,H2,H3,H4,H6,H8,H12
Daily D1 D1
Weekly W1 W1
Monthly MN MN

Indicators

According to MetaQuotes, MetaTrader 4 offers 30 built-in indicators and 24 analytical objects. Also, there are over 2000 free custom indicators and 700 available for purchase. In contrast, MetaTrader 5 has 38 technical indicators, 44 analytical objects and offers an unlimited number of charts (MT4 has a limit of 128).

Economic Calendar

One of the most convenient features of MT5 is that it offers an Economic Calendar with critical events that can impact the market. As MT4 doesn’t have an Economic Calendar, some traders have used the Forex Factory calendar as a turnaround to track events or perform fundamental analysis.

MQL4 vs MQL5

The third core difference is related to algorithmic trading. MetaTrader 4 uses a programming language called MQL4, while MetaTrader 5 uses MQL5.

MQL4 might be more suitable for beginners due to its simplicity when creating scripts, indicators and EAs. In contrast, MQL5 is an object-oriented program (OOP) based on C++, which is more complex but gives professional Algorithmic traders more room for advanced commands and calculations.

What is OOP?

The whole hype around MQL5 is that it brings OOP into algorithmic trading. That is why a lot of traders/programmers were so excited about MT5 in the first place.

In simple terms, OOP allows you to break down your program into blocks. Each of these blocks is like a black box: something goes in and some result / or action comes out:

In the world of programming, this is very powerful for multiple reasons. For instance, once you’ve coded one of these black boxes for one of your Expert Advisors you can then clone it and use it in the next system you develop too.

Also, OOP is great for collaboration. You can assign one developer to work on one set of black boxes, and another developer – on another. Then you can bring them together into one final program without even knowing what’s inside each of these blocks.

No Backward Compatibility

As you are probably aware, you cannot simply transfer your MQL4 code into MQL5. MetaTrader 4 initially took Forex Trading by storm mostly thanks to its ability to run Algorithmic Trading systems or EAs. A high percentage of traders use EAs or custom indicators/scripts in their trading. Moving these from MQL4 to MQL5 would be a very costly and time-consuming exercise for most.

On the other hand, MetaTrader 5 has two main advantages on this front versus MetaTrader 4:

  • The Multi-currency strategy tester; and
  • MT5 is superior for testing and optimization. Hundreds of times faster.

While the first would probably be of interest to about 10–15% of traders, the second is a great improvement. Faster optimizations mean less time spent configuring your EAs.

Part B – Historical Evidence, Demand and Usage Trends

In this section, we will take a look at demand trends from both versions.

MT4 vs MT5

Using Google Trends, we can visualize how frequently the terms MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 have been searched for over the past 10+ years:

We can see that hype started building up around MT5 (red) after its imminent arrival was announced in early 2009. However, the trend flattened out right after MetaQuotes released the beta version in October 2009. Nevertheless, since the end of 2020 the trend for MT5 has been picking up.

The main reason for this is that since the end of 2020, MetaQuotes started investing heavily again on releasing new features for MT5. Also, on April 24th, 2020, MetaQuotes announced released a hedging option in MetaTrader 5 to encourage more brokers and traders to switch to MT5.

On the other hand, searches for MetaTrader 4, had been growing since inception up to early 2020. Then a bit off an extended period in 2020–2020, and again steady growth picked up in 2020 and has been continuing since.

MQL4 vs MQL5

Between 2009 and 2020, MQL4 was searched for about twice as frequently as MQL5; however, MQL4 search growth flattened out at the start of 2009. At the same time, interest in MQL5 grew steadily between 2009–2020 and hit it off in mid–2020, surpassing MQL4 at the end of 2020.

Over the past years, MetaQuotes have been actively developing the MQL5.community (which is for both MQL4 and MQL5 programmers). This could be one of the reasons for the rapid increase in “MQL5” searches.

Also, the MetaTrader 5 build 1860 release in mid-2020, enabled some key features for algorithmic traders like functions for operations with time series that make smoother the transition of EAs and applications from MQL4 to MQL5.

History of Builds

If we go to the news releases page for MT4 and MT5, by doing some simple web-scraping, we can retrieve all of the dates of the releases/updates/patches that ever occurred for MT4 and MT5 since 2008 until the start of 2020.

Putting all of these updates together creates the chart below, which illustrates the number of updates that happened in each month (the vertical axis on the left ranges from 1–5 updates in any given month).

Note that this chart doesn’t take into account the significance of the updates; it is a simple count of updates.

Here you see 4 distinct areas.

  • A: Prior to the release of MetaTrader 5
  • B: The 2 years following MT5 Beta release
  • C: From 2020 to 2020
  • D: From 2020 to Present

Before the release of MT5 (Area A), there was about one update to MT4 per month on average.

Area B – As soon as MT5 Beta hit in November 2009, the market updates to MT4 stopped. There were three error fixes along the way there, but those weren’t significant.

This suggests that MetaQuotes were focused on MT5 and they decreased development resources for MT4. They were waiting out for MT5 to takeover to then completely deprecate MetaTrader 4 just like they did with MetaTrader 3 back in 2005.

However, that didn’t happen. There was some resistance from traders to move or try MT5 mainly because MT5 didn’t include hedging at that time. Therefore, in early 2020 MetaQuotes was forced to perform updates and releases regarding MT4.

Then we have Area C, where the number of builds was very similar in both versions of the platform, MT4 finally started catching up to MetaTrader 5. In February 2020 MT4 for iPhone came out (1 year after MT5 for iPhone), and two months later, in April 2020 MT4 for Android arrived (only 6 months later than MT5 for Android).

Then the Build 600 was in February 2020, which introduced the new MQL4 programming language, added the MetaTrader 4 markets tab, and introduced the User Account Control (UAC) system, which is not very popular, but necessary for an application to have if it’s going to be compatible with Windows 8 and onward.

When everything seemed to indicate that MetaQuotes was going to be pulling back MT5, the trend started to change again. In April 2020, build 1325 was released, adding the hedging option to MT5, which until recently was only supported in MT4. Area D in the graph above shows how since build 1325, MetaQuotes looks to be heavily reinvested on MT5, this was summarized by Renat Fatkhullin, their CEO, as follows:

Why use two platforms, when you can access all the required functionality in one of them?

The MetaQuotes Ambiguity

The dependency of the Forex retail market on MetaTrader 4, has served as a catalyzer of the poor management decisions that MetaQuotes has made during the last decade.

It is still unclear if MetaTrader 5 will replace MetaTrader 4. However, releases like the build 1325 or MetaQuotes decision to stop issuing new licenses to new brokerages, indicate that the migration from MT4 to MT5 will take place sooner than later. There is still an enigma on how they will solve the backward compatibility issue between MQL4 and MQL5.

Conclusion

To sum up, the main differences between MetaTrader 4 and 5 are:

  • MetaTrader 5 was developed with US Equity & other markets in mind.
  • MT5 5 includes more tools for market analysis.
  • It has MQL5, an object-oriented program based on C++ to code advanced EAs.

However, MetaTrader 4 remains the most popular and preferred Forex trading platform for beginners due to its simplicity and ease of use. MQL4 is more friendly to get started with Algorithmic trading and EAs.

The conclusion for experienced programmers is a bit different. If you think you will need the multi-currency strategy tester as well as the very fast testing and optimization, then maybe give MT5 a shot. However, it will only be worth it if you can commit to building your systems from scratch.

At the same time, MT4 should already have most of the things an experienced coder will ever need, including OOP. If that’s not enough, then instead of MT5, you can have a look into using DLL or even other platforms with good API like jForex from DukasCopy.

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What is the difference between metatrader 4 and 5 – mt4 vs. mt5 ?

As it seems the traders are given a choice to make MetaTrader 4 vs. 5 while opening an account. Brokers can also make this decision. It’s up to the individual broker to make a decision for selection between MetaTrader 4 and 5 that must be accessible to traders or should support MetaQoutes terminal platform. Users are having usage experience of MetaTrader 5 (MT5) willing to make use of MetaTrader 4 (MT4). Most of the traders make use of most famous and older one platform known as Mt4, MetaQoutes has stopped introducing variations in their platforms, but has not made criticism or compel brokers to purchase a license for MetaTrader 5. Brokers who are keen of getting the issuance of MT4 License, MetaQOutes clogged the issuance of new MT4 License to those brokers on January 12, 2020, which means that these brokers have to make use of another platform or can accept MetaTrader 5. Decisions can become complex when there is an insufficient provision concerning the server capital for the existing Mt4 License Holders. Having this perspective, let’s make a detailed study of two types of terminal regarding their languages correspondingly.

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MetaTrader 4 vs. 5 deals with the substance of acquaintance, how much simple or easy to use and all MQL languages.
MetaTrader 4 vs 5 (MT$ vs MT5) Languages (MQL4 vs MQL5)
MetaTrader 4 was introduced globally in 2005 whereas MetaTrader 5 released in 2020. Language has similar syntax along with the prominent and major changes in keywords that distinguish both and make hard for an MQL4 file to function in MT5 smoothly and vice-versa of it as it implements the MQL5 and MT4.

MQL4 and MQL5 have many similarities with the programming language, C++. MQL4 has maintained its position or popularity in the industry even after the release of MQL5, which has helped a lot in distinguishing the programming language.
However, this feature makes the MQL4 and MQL5 interesting one and offers a flat contest to everyone because the programming language is such as which requires updates to programming languages like Python or Ruby. Variation in MQL4 and MQL5 give a meaning of going beyond the side of marketing from the MetaQoutes platform which is the major source of the promotion set it and forget it kind of tactics to make a trade with “robots” (Expert Advisors) and custom indicators. This kind of elevation creates hurdles for newcomers who just found out that their MT4 version has been updated or would find that their MT5 version will be updated and they seem like a real victim of the never terminated Software Development Life Cycle.
There will be no updates in MQL4, but there shall be continuous variation in MQL5. It will reduce the hurdles for newcomers who want to enter in MetaTrader 4. It all deals with the game of Relaxed and Comparative Limitations in Competence vs. Stimulating and Vigorous Aptitude.

Pros and Cons of MetaTrader 4 vs. 5 (MQL4 vs. MQL5)

MetaTrader 4

Advantages
There will be no variation regarding updates due to which no need to change or alter the programs comprise of new versions.
Expert Consultants and Indicators are independent to choose a file from the .mq4 file, and the — ex4 file for implementation.
MQL4 is of much benefit as it has seen that many brokers make use of MT4.
It’s pretty easy to code. Expert Advisor can make it is short and make a structure with ease.
Disadvantage
Variation in currency competences.
No circumventing proficiencies.
Overall, it is limited to the skills and capabilities that a terminal maintains.

MetaTrader 5 (MQL5)

Advantages
Language proficiency is improved by bringing some variations.
A rapid change in language syntax with the advancement in terminal technologies is a plus.
Hedging abilities.
Currency variation skills.
More stipend for more complexity.
Disadvantage
In the case of transitioning from MQL4, this is considered as the most difficult and complex language.
Libraries are important.
One expert can handle many libraries and the files attached to it.
Not anything is independent.
Most of the individuals are familiar to MQL4 are now moving towards MQL5 because MQL5 has more features and capabilities that are required at this time concerning the language structure and efficient building structure of programs compel others to learn a complex one as compared to the simpler one that is of no worth.
MQL does not demand a new programmer in mind, but it is a basic object-oriented language.
Languages can vary a little bit in their structure and syntax, of course, it demands to learn things from the very beginning while moving from MQL4 to MQL5. It is an impossible task for those people who try to convert .mp4 file in MetaTrader 5. Conversion tools fail in case of binding the huge divide concerning the code structure between Meta Trader4 and MetaTrader5. This is the matter where the structure of different files .mqh and .mq5 have to be made or sometimes various mq5 files to carry out the same task, but the real code is more vigorous incompetence, more important in backtesting.

MetaQoutes software has given an overview of MetaTrader 5 for almost seven years ago, but some traders exist who prefer to work on MetaTrader 4. There is a contrasting criticism on MT5 by the market contributors who say that MetaTrader is comparable to MT5 in its all functionalities. Then what is the major difference between MT4 and MT5?

Expert Values

MetaTrader basically designed for “over the counter” Forex tools like CFD whole, on the other hand, MetaTrader 5 was made for the stock instrumentation including shares, geographies and some other offshoots.
MetaTrader 5 platform has been made for the index of RTS standard interchange

Standards of opening positions
MT4: hedging – a lot of the transactions can be made by the trader that comes under the umbrella of multidirectional for the same tool and at the same time with the addition of place, one-direction trades. Traders know well about this process because this method involves reducing risks.
MT5: netting – the trader can make a trade of instruments in a single direction while multidirectional positions are not permitted.
A trader is allowed to open an account in MT5 and trade instruments too; except stock unavailability at this account.

Market Depth
MetaTrader 5 delivers market depth with the exchange of instruments that are being traded while from the other perspective MT4 only give a chance or an opportunity to make deals with the resources in ECN system like OTC. Both give an opportunity to traders to make a clear analysis of orders that how much have to deliver and how much have to buy, measure capacities of the gadgets, and deals with two types of trading functions:
Sell/buy instruments with the exchange of money at the spot

Place trading orders – remaining or pending orders to sell/buy a substituting tool at the fixed price
Market depth in MetaTrader 5

Market depth in MetaTrader 5

Market trade seems best to scalpers, traders who desire to perform high but a full risk trading because of market depth boost up the presentation of many people. Experts often make use of some special kind of trading tools for carrying out the processes.
Tester of strategies
MT5 gains multi-tasking and significant tester, who can execute the function by testing a portfolio, which grabs the attention of traders dealing with the standard market equipment. Quotes history can be recovered or downloaded in the terminal.
Testing results appear as a chart
MetaTrader 5 tester is given in MQL Cloud Network with the limitless contribution to make a calculation using tens of thousands of consistent PCs. A trader can only get this function if she/he has installed a special kind of application strategy Tester.

MQL4 vs. MQL5

MQL4 and MQL5 distinguishable from each other on the level of programming language platform. MQL4 is a language (MetaQoutes Language 4) basically used for machines, writings, and pointers used in MetaTrader 4. This language has limited scope as compared to the other languages, as it can be seen that this language is used for basic level calculations or simple commands.
MetaTrader 5 has a major focus on MQL5 language that is brand new, more significant and much closer or similar to the object-oriented C++. The syntax makes programming language easy to operate for developers: a trader can write code or can make changes in it, pointers and vigorous interchange by using MQL5 language under the platform of MetaEditor, as the language gives the countless opportunities.

MetaEditor – multi-tasking editors are available for the development and adjustment of trading robots and pointers
Custom advisor and trading advisors should learn to track the activities of a computer mouse and keyboard pointer, in case interrelating with some peripheral devices a special thanks or homage to the program installed in MQL5 for the event processing. MQL5 official website contains every kind of library, templates and most popular functions that are used frequently.

Conclusion
A time tested platform that is simple to use as compare to others with extra functionalities, basically considered for the Forex equipment, CFDs and some other OTC byproducts.

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