Updated: 01/03/2024

MT5 vs NinjaTrader

Choosing the right trading platform is a significant decision that can greatly affect your efficiency and…

MT5 vs NinjaTrader
20 Nov 2023
EDITED BY Henry Hicks
REVIEWED BY Chris Padgett

Table of Contents

Choosing the right trading platform is a significant decision that can greatly affect your efficiency and success in the financial markets. MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and NinjaTrader are two prominent platforms widely recognised for their advanced features and comprehensive trading tools. MT5, developed by MetaQuotes Software, is admired for its versatility and is particularly suited for trading foreign exchange, while NinjaTrader is often chosen by those looking to trade futures contracts due to its analytical rigour and customizability.

Understanding the different functionalities offered by MT5 and NinjaTrader is crucial. MT5 facilitates multi-asset trading and is known for its state-of-the-art technical tools, copy trading features, and automated trading systems, which can be particularly beneficial for less experienced traders who wish to replicate the strategies of seasoned professionals. Meanwhile, NinjaTrader is revered for its advanced charting capabilities, trading and order execution features, and support for strategy development, which appeal to traders who are looking for a more hands-on approach to the market.

Accessibility is another vital factor to consider when comparing trading platforms. MT5 is known for its broad adoption by brokers globally and the convenience of a mobile app, enhancing trading flexibility. NinjaTrader also provides robust support and an ecosystem that can be tailored to individual trading needs. The choice between MT5 and NinjaTrader will depend on your specific trading requirements, preferred assets, and the level of automation and customisation you desire.

Key Takeaways

  • MT5 and NinjaTrader cater to different trading needs and markets, with MT5 being favoured for Forex and NinjaTrader for futures.
  • Both platforms offer unique tools and functionalities like automated trading and extensive charting capabilities.
  • Comparing platform accessibility, ease of use, and cost is essential for choosing the right trading environment.

Overview of MT5 and NinjaTrader

MetaTrader 5 (MT5) is a versatile trading platform for trading forex, stocks, and other financial markets. Developed by MetaQuotes, it allows you to engage in trading with a range of financial instruments and is particularly favoured for its advanced features and customizability. What sets it apart is its compatibility with automated trading systems known as Expert Advisors.

  • Financial Instruments: Forex, Stocks, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies
  • Key Features: Advanced charting, algorithmic trading, mobile trading
  • User Base: Traders of all levels; preferred for ease of use and comprehensive tools

In contrast, NinjaTrader is designed with a focus on futures trading. It caters to the intricate needs of futures traders but has capabilities that extend to other instruments as well. The platform’s striking quality is its robust suite of tools tailored for high-volume trading, comprehensive market analysis, and advanced strategy development.

  • Financial Instruments: Primarily futures, with extension to forex and stocks
  • Key Features: Advanced analytics, strategy backtesting, trade simulation
  • User Base: Active traders, especially those dealing with futures contracts

Both platforms are supported by a network of brokers, but each has distinct characteristics making one more suitable over the other for specific market activities. MT5 shines with its expansive reach in forex and multi-market trading, while NinjaTrader is the go-to choice for an in-depth futures trading experience. Your decision should align with your trading preferences and market engagement.

Key Features and Functionalities

When comparing MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and NinjaTrader, it’s important to consider their unique features and functionalities that cater to different aspects of online trading.

MT5 is your comprehensive trading platform with a robust set of features for technical analysis. You have access to over 80 pre-installed indicators and analytical objects for detailed market analysis. The platform facilitates automated trading by allowing the use of Expert Advisors (EAs), which you can create using the MQL5 programming language. MT5 also expands your trading capabilities with social trading, enabling you to engage in copy trading.

  • Automated trading: Utilise EAs to automate strategies.
  • Indicators: Over 80 built-in, with options for custom indicators.
  • MQL5: For creating custom EAs and indicators.
  • Copy trading: Benefit from the strategies of experienced traders.

NinjaTrader, on the other hand, offers a feature-rich environment tailor-made for futures and forex trading. A key draw is its advanced charting tools, necessary for conducting thorough technical analysis. With NinjaTrader, you can also automate your trades using trading robots. The platform provides a vast array of order types, enhancing your control over trade execution.

  • Charting: Advanced tools for comprehensive analysis.
  • Technical analysis:¬†A suite of features for a thorough market study.
  • Automated trading: Deploy trading robots to automate your strategies.
  • Order types: Multiple options for trade execution strategies.

Both platforms offer environments conducive to advanced trading, each with a distinct bent towards specific markets and trading styles. Your choice between MT5 and NinjaTrader may ultimately hinge on whether your focus lies in a diverse asset approach or a specialised future and forex orientation.

Usability and Support for Traders

In the realm of trading platforms, one crucial aspect that affects your experience is the ease of use and the level of support offered. Both MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and NinjaTrader have developed environments that cater to different needs, whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned professional.

Interface and Customisation Options

MetaTrader 5 (MT5): The user interface of MT5 is known for its cleanliness and efficiency. It allows for a high degree of customisation, enabling you to personalise charts and use a multitude of technical indicators. The platform’s design is intuitive, which can be beneficial if you’re new to trading, yet it also provides the depth required by experienced traders.

  • Customisable layouts
  • A wealth of technical analysis tools

NinjaTrader: On the other hand, NinjaTrader’s interface is particularly appreciated by professional traders for its advanced charting capabilities. The platform offers a range of customisation options, from workspace layouts to a comprehensive range of analytical tools. It might have a steeper learning curve compared to MT5, but the flexibility is a significant advantage for seasoned traders.

  • Advanced charting features
  • High-level market analysis tools

Support for Beginners vs Experienced Traders

Support for Beginners: MT5 provides a solid foundation for beginners with extensive documentation, tutorial videos, and a community forum where new users can get help from more experienced users. The platform’s ‘Demo Accounts‘ allow you to practise trading without risking real money, which is invaluable as you learn.

  • Extensive educational content
  • Active community forum

Support for Experienced Traders: NinjaTrader is renowned for its robust support for experienced and professional traders, offering comprehensive technical and strategic analysis tools. It also offers automated trading capabilities that can be customised extensively, but utilising these features may require a solid background in trading and possibly programming.

  • Automated trading support
  • Depth of analytical tools

Analysis and Charting Capabilities

When choosing a trading platform, your ability to perform technical analysis with a variety of tools and customization options is crucial. Both MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and NinjaTrader excel in providing comprehensive analysis and charting capabilities to cater to your trading needs.

Technical Indicators

You will find that MT5 boasts a vast array of technical indicators out of the box, designed for analysing forex markets. These include but are not limited to:

Moreover, MT5 allows the addition of custom indicators through its MQL5 programming language, expanding your technical analysis toolkit.

NinjaTrader also provides a rich set of technical indicators suitable for analysing market trends and potential entry and exit points. It includes:

  • Ichimoku Kinko Hyo
  • Keltner Channel
  • Volume Analysis tools
  • VWAP (Volume Weighted Average Price)

NinjaTrader steps further by offering the Market Analyzer feature, which enables you to scan and analyse multiple markets simultaneously, a powerful asset for identifying trading opportunities quickly.

Advanced Charting

NinjaTrader’s advanced charting features are comprehensive and highly regarded among professional traders. You’re offered the flexibility to customize charts to match your trading style and preferences, with tools that include:

  • Extensive drawing tools
  • Multiple chart styles (e.g., Candlestick, OHLC, Line)
  • Chart trader feature for placing and managing trades directly from the chart

MT5 does not fall short; it provides you with advanced charting tools that are easy to use and modify. Its chart customization options are vast, giving you control over colours, scales, and the presentation of various elements on the chart.

Both platforms deliver capabilities to handle multiple time frames and add-ons from their respective communities – an advantage in tailoring your analysis approach. Whether you’re monitoring market analysis or evaluating market trends, both MT5 and NinjaTrader furnish significant resources to support your decision-making process.

Trading and Order Execution

When considering the capabilities of MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and NinjaTrader for trading and order execution, it’s important to understand the different order types each platform supports and the efficiency with which they carry out trades. MT5 provides a comprehensive set of order types, including market orderslimit ordersstop orders, and stop-limit orders, allowing you to enter the market at various points of your strategy.

MT5 facilitates one-click trading, which can be particularly useful for forex traders who need to act swiftly to market changes. The platform has been known for its efficient order execution, ensuring that your trades are executed as quickly as possible.

NinjaTrader, on the other hand, impresses with its advanced order management features. This includes trailing stops and auto-breakeven stops, which are paramount for managing risks and protecting potential profits. Its attention to order execution is evident, as the platform allows for precision trade management.

To summarise the types of orders available on both platforms:

  • MT5: Market, Limit, Stop, Stop-Limit
  • NinjaTrader: Market, Limit, Stop, Stop-Limit, Trailing Stop, Auto-Breakeven

Furthermore, with NinjaTrader, you can benefit from the trailing stop order feature, giving you an edge in volatile markets by allowing your stop-loss orders to follow the market price at a distance you set. This ensures that you can secure profits while limiting potential losses.

For an efficient way to enter trades, both platforms offer order entry interfaces that are designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate.

Your choice between MT5 and NinjaTrader may ultimately depend on the specifics of your trading strategy and which platform’s order execution features align best with your requirements.

Broker Integration and Asset Coverage

When considering MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and NinjaTrader for your trading needs, understanding their integration with brokers and the range of asset classes they cover is crucial.

MetaTrader 5:

  • Brokers: MT5 is supported by a large number of brokers globally, offering you a wide range of choices for trading forex markets, commodities, stocks, and more.
  • Asset Classes: You can trade numerous asset classes, including:
    • Forex
    • Commodities
    • Stocks
    • CFDs (Contracts for Difference)
    • Equities
    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Futures Contracts

MT5 is designed for advanced trading across these asset classes, offering extensive technical analysis tools, copy trading, and automatic trading systems.


  • Brokers: NinjaTrader is also widely supported by various brokers, particularly favoured by those specialising in futures trading.
  • Asset Classes: Its focus is more concentrated on:
    • Futures Contracts
    • Forex
    • Equities
    • CFDs

However, the forex market and futures are where NinjaTrader really excels, with a reputation for robust analysis and advanced charting capabilities.

In your decision-making process, consider the specific asset class diversity and broker integrations that align with your trading style. MT5’s broad broker support and wide asset coverage make it a versatile choice, whereas NinjaTrader’s specialised approach may be advantageous if your focus is more on futures and forex trading. Both platforms are competent, but your selection should be influenced by your preferred asset classes and the brokers that best satisfy your trading requirements.

Automated Trading and Strategy Development

In the realms of MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and NinjaTrader, you encounter robust solutions for automated trading and the crafting of trading strategies through distinct approaches.

Expert Advisors and Trading Robots

MetaTrader 5 offers you the feature of Expert Advisors (EAs), which are sophisticated trading robots crafted using the native programming language, MQL5. These EAs enable you to automate your trading strategies, deploying them across the forex markets with minimal manual intervention. The complexity of strategies you can develop ranges from simple moving average crossovers to complex systemic algorithms used by scalpers. These robots can trade 24/7 on your behalf, ensuring you never miss a market opportunity.

On the other hand, NinjaTrader’s automated trading feature supports the creation of trading robots using NinjaScript, a more flexible programming language. This allows for customised strategy implementation that can cater to a range of markets, not just forex but also futures and equities. Both platforms’ robots are capable of making rapid, rule-based decisions that a manual trader may not be able to execute as quickly.

Backtesting and Market Replay

The strength of a trading strategy is often validated through backtesting. MT5’s backtesting capabilities are highly sophisticated, allowing for multi-threaded and multi-currency testing that can give you a comprehensive understanding of a strategy’s historical performance. With the help of MQL5, backtesting on MT5 can be both granular and expansive, giving you the confidence that your strategy is robust before taking it live.

NinjaTrader excels with its market replay feature, providing you with the ability to test your trading robots or strategies against historical data as if trading in real time. This simulates the market conditions for any day and enables you to watch your strategies play out as though live. The market replay function is an invaluable tool for refining strategies and rectifying any potential issues that may not be evident in standard backtesting scenarios.

Accessibility and Mobile Trading

As you explore the world of online trading platforms, understanding the accessibility and mobile trading capabilities of MT5 and NinjaTrader is essential. Both platforms have unique features that cater to traders’ needs on the go.

MetaTrader 5 (MT5), developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation, ensures you have a robust multi-asset platform from practically anywhere. Your trading is backed by a comprehensive mobile version, available for both iOS and Android devices. This application allows you to engage with forex, stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrencies with a tap on your screen. The MT5 mobile app integrates real-time quotes, all trading orders, and the majority of analytical tools.

  • MT5 Mobile Trading Features:
    • Real-time data feeds
    • Full-featured trading system
    • Comprehensive technical analysis tools
    • Available on both iOS and Android

In contrast, NinjaTrader is known for its powerful trade management and user interface on desktops but historically lagged slightly behind in mobile accessibility. However, for your convenience, third-party applications are utilised to connect to NinjaTrader servers, thus enabling some degree of mobile trading.

When considering the level of accessibility, MetaQuotes’ MT5 platform tends to offer a more direct and integrated approach to mobile trading. You can manage your account and execute trades directly using your smartphone, providing a seamless experience across devices. NinjaTrader, while offering robust desktop capabilities, may require additional steps to ensure consistent access when you’re away from your primary trading setup.

Costs and Extra Services

When selecting your trading platform between MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and NinjaTrader, considering the costs and extra services is crucial.

MetaTrader 5: MT5 is generally available for free through most brokers, although some might charge a fee for advanced services. You have access to various add-ons and third-party applications that enhance your trading experience. These include numerous analytics tools, trading signals, and social trading features, such as copy trading, allowing you to mirror the positions of other traders. Keep in mind that certain high-level customisation options and advanced trading signals may incur additional fees.

  • Fees: Mostly free via brokers, charges for premium services
  • Third-party Add-ons: Extensive market available
  • Social Trading: Available, with copy trading features
  • Analytics: Extensive tools for technical analysis

NinjaTrader: NinjaTrader might offer a more complex fee structure. The platform itself can be used for free for charting, market analysis, and live trading is available only if you pay for the lease or purchase the software. They also offer brokerage services which might have associated costs. The platform supports C# for extensive customisation and add-ons, providing a rich environment for developing custom analytical tools and risk management systems.

  • Fees: Free for basic, paid lease or lifetime purchase
  • Broker Integration: Direct with potential costs involved
  • Customisation: Robust, C# programming for add-ons
  • Risk Management: Advanced tools once paid for

When considering extra services, both MT5 and NinjaTrader facilitate a range of options to enhance your trading ability, tailored to meet various trading strategies and preferences. Assess broker compatibility, availability of analytics and risk management tools, and ultimately, how these factors align with your trading needs. Keep in mind additional costs while scaling up with add-ons or advanced features.

Frequently Asked Questions

What advantages does MetaTrader offer compared to NinjaTrader for forex trading?

MetaTrader 5, being a successor of the widely popular MT4, specialises in the forex market, offering an extensive range of currency pairs, advanced charting tools, and superior order management systems. It is known for its strong analytical tools which are particularly effective for forex trading.

How do the automated trading capabilities of MT5 and NinjaTrader differ?

MT5 provides a built-in scripting language, MQL5, which enhances its automated trading capabilities, allowing for complex strategy testing and development. NinjaTrader also offers automation but is grounded more in futures trading, with a focus on customisability through its C# #-based NinjaScript.

Which platform, MT5 or NinjaTrader, provides a better interface for beginner traders?

MetaTrader 5 tends to be more beginner-friendly due to its clean and intuitive user interface. It simplifies the trading process for novice traders with a streamlined design and comprehensive support resources.

What are the costs associated with using MT5 and NinjaTrader for trading?

MetaTrader 5 is often provided for free by many brokers, though some may charge fees for advanced features or services. On the other hand, NinjaTrader offers a free version for basic use, while access to advanced features may require purchasing a license or paying additional fees, depending on your broker and the services you use.

How does the backtesting functionality compare between MT5 and NinjaTrader?

Both platforms offer robust backtesting features allowing traders to evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies using historical data. MT5 provides an in-built strategy tester with real tick data, while NinjaTrader is also known for its detailed backtesting environment and analytics, which can be valuable for fine-tuning strategies.

Can users integrate custom indicators and strategies easily on both MT5 and NinjaTrader?

Yes, both platforms enable the integration of custom indicators and strategies. MT5 utilises its proprietary MQL5 language for development, whereas NinjaTrader allows for customisation with NinjaScript, which might be more familiar if you have prior experience with C#. Each platform’s community and marketplace also offer a wealth of ready-made add-ons.

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Chad Smith

Chad Smith is the Director of Research & Analysis here at ForexBrokerListing.com. Chad previously served as an Editor for a number of websites related to finance and trading, where he authored a significant number of published articles about trading and the impact of technology in transforming investing as we know it. Overall, Chad is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher with more than 15 years of trading experience, and you can find him teaching his dog how to trade in his free time.

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