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cTrader is a popular forex and CFD trading platform with tons of unique features to help you analyse and trade the markets. But after a decade on the market, many traders still don’t know about cTrader. This cTrader review will help you understand and navigate this platform and give you the information to make an informed decision on whether this platform is right for you.
The first broker to launch cTrader was FxPro in 2011. Since then, dozens more reputable forex brokers launched the platform too. In total, more than fifty brokers offer the platform. cTrader can support various asset classes as contracts for difference (CFDs), such as forex, indices, stocks & ETFs, commodities, treasures, futures, and more. The platform is best known as a forex trading platform.
cTrader pioneered the STP, ECN and DMA model for retail traders; it was unofficially the first retail forex trading platform to connect directly to liquidity providers without any intermediary technology known as bridges, which are necessary for platforms such as MetaTrader 4 to connect to external markets.
cTrader Platform Summary
||More than 50, including FxPro|
||Forex, CFDs & Spread Betting|
||Web (Chrome, Firefox),Desktop (Windows),Mobile (iOS, Android)|
||Yes (cTrader Automate)|
||Yes (cTrader Copy)|
||Free (brokers pay the platform costs)|
Pros and Cons of using CTrader
cTrader offers four types of trading, each one catering to a specific type of trader. The platform offers:
- Manual point-and-click trading with several order methods;
- Copy trading module where anyone can become a strategy provider or follower;
- Automated trading interface with an integrated development environment and backtesting capabilities;
- API trading via FIX API and a REST API.
cTrader was designed from the ground up as a straight-through-processing (STP) platform designed to connect traders to forex exchanges and markets rather than a market-making environment. Due to this approach, cTrader has implemented several unique features, such as showing the depth of market in the platform, tick volumes and
- A deal map plots your deals on the chart to help you visualise the trade and reflect on what you did right or wrong.
- As cTrader is an STP-enabled trading platform, all market data comes from external sources showing level two data. The platform shows the depth of the market as an indicator to observe layers of liquidity.
- The platform offers a wide range of order types: market order, stop order, stop-limit order, market-range order and good-till-date order.
- You can create unlimited watchlists to save and categorise favourite symbols and keep them in the cloud to access anywhere from any device.
- The platform lets you configure alerts and set custom margin call warnings sent to your email and displayed on your mobile device.
- cTrader offers advanced take profit setting to scale out of positions at various levels. You can set a stop-loss to break even, and server trailing stop losses can follow profitable positions.
- When setting up a position, a dynamic tool-tip shows the volume of an order, the pip value, commission cost and margin required and your available margin.
cTrader Copy lets anyone become a strategy provider and distribute their trading strategy for a commission or fee. Other traders can discover and copy the strategies available and enjoy commitment-free investing. When someone follows a strategy, trades are executed in their account automatically. What’s unique about cTrader copy is it works across different brokers, meaning the provider and follower don’t need accounts at the same broker.
cTrader Automate is a powerful automated trading solution, allowing traders to develop trading robots to automate trading strategies. Traders can use cTrader’s C# API to write code with the integrated development environment and test and optimise their robots and custom indicators in one application.
cTrader offers two distinct APIs; FIX API and Open API. Both APIs are free to use and encourage developers to build third-party tools for the community.
FIX API is the financial market’s industry-standard API, used by stock exchanges, market makers, prime brokers, banks and any other player participating in electronic trading.
The cTrader Open API lets traders or developers build web, mobile and desktop applications on cTrader.
cTrader charts boast modern aesthetics that competing platforms lack. Charts on the platform are fully customisable, allowing you to adjust backgrounds, indicators and objects completely. The charting experience offers many vital features that any technical analyst will appreciate; here are some of the highlights:
- Trading and charting have been fused together with a chart-trading function. You can modify orders and positions by dragging and dropping elements on the chart.
- On the Windows desktop version of cTrader, you can open multiple charts and detach them to stand-alone windows.
- Set up price alerts to get notified by email or push notification on your mobile device when the alert is triggered.
- There is a feature to hide all chart objects with one click
- Some brokers offer integration with Trading Central, Authochartist, FXStreet economic calendar, and Dow Jones news feed to show analysis inside the platform
- Save workspaces and chart templates in the cloud.
- ChartShot feature allows you to take a snapshot of a chart and quickly share it on social media.
- Light and dark mode for different tastes.
A downside of the cTrader platform is the lack of knowledge brokers have for the platform. Even the brokers offering the platform do not have well-trained customer support teams, leaving traders stuck whenever they run into trouble. We’ve whiteness cases of brokers simply telling their customers to “ask cTrader”, which is not a helpful attitude.
cTrader provides an online forum available at ctrader.com and hosts a Telegram channel with company representatives answering traders’ questions. Although the platform developers can address general questions, they cannot go into detail about pricing, execution and other aspects related to brokerage operations.
One unique aspect of the cTrader community is traders can propose new features and vote on others ideas. Sometimes the developers will seek feedback from users on mockups.
How to install cTrader
cTrader is only available on the Windows operating system. If you have a macOS, Chrome OS or Linux Ubuntu OS, you’ll need to use the web-based version of cTrader.
cTrader system requirements
|Processor||Dual-Core CPU||Dual-Core CPU|
|Operating System||Windows 7, or higher||The latest version of Windows|
|Internet Connection||Stable connection from 50 kB per second or faster.||Stable connection from 100 kB per second or faster.|
13-to-15-inch screen (standard ratio 1400×1050)
13-to-15-inch screen (widescreen 1280×800)
17-inch screen (widescreen 1680×1050)
cTrader is available from dozens of reputable and regulated brokers worldwide. The only jurisdiction where cTrader isn’t available in the United States. Due to strict regulations, the forex market prohibits hedging, and CFDs are completely banned in the US, meaning there is little demand for platforms like cTrader in the US. The brokers defined as featured brokers include:
- IC Markets
- Scandinavian Capital Markets
- Tradeview Markets
|Overall||★★★★☆||We give cTrader a rating of four out of five.|
|Trading||★★★★★||cTrader offers advanced trading features but at the same time overcomplicate things for beginners. The platform gets 5/5 for trading capabilities.|
|Charting||★★★★☆||cTrader offers a wide range of technical analysis tools, but the interface takes some getting used to because of the wide range of tools and objects.|
|Support||★★☆☆☆||Despite cTrader doing its best to support users, the brokers let them down. Support is not terrible, but it’s such an important characteristic, and it needs to be improved.|
|Availability||★★★☆☆||Although cTrader isn’t available from many brokers, the platform is translated in many languages and available for all screens and devices. A macOS version and a wider selection of brokers would increase this score.|
cTrader was released six years after the already massively popular MetaTrader 4 platform. MT4 had already taken the majority of the market, and cTrader was a novelty. Some innovative, forward-looking brokers adopted cTrader early on, but most of the forex industry saw it as a niche. cTrader struggles to break the stereotype of being a niche platform, but the number of users continues to grow.
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