The MT4 vs MT5 – What’s the difference?

Interestingly, the total trading volume for the global forex market has increased sharply since 1995, from just $1.2 trillion to $6.6 trillion by the end of 2020.

This is largely thanks to a marked rise in the number of part-time retail traders, who have thrived through the digital age and the emergence of intuitive online platforms such as the MetaTrader 4 and the MT5.

But what does each of these platforms have to offer, and which one should you utilise going forward? Let’s find out!


What’s the MT4?

While both of these trading platforms was developed and launched by MetaQuotes, the MT4 was released in 2005 and remains the single most popular forex trading platform to this day.

Compatible with most licensed forex brokers in the UK, the MT4 is famed for introducing customisable charts and an intuitive trading interface to the retail marketplace, while it continues to set the standard for forex and CFD trading to this day.

The platform’s popularity is largely founded on its ease-of-use, which is a key consideration given the complexity associated with forex trading.

For example, it’s estimated that around 70% of all forex traders lose money regularly, with this having historically provided a significant barrier to entry for most newcomers.


What’s the MetaTrader 5?

The MT5 was launched five years later in 2010, and despite being heavily marketed to potential users, it’s nowhere near the popularity of its predecessor.

To this end, it’s only offered by a relatively small number of forex brokers, meaning that the vast majority of retail currency traders have remained loyal to the intuitive and familiar MT4.

This platform is powered by the advanced MQL5 language, while it allows for fast, multiple backtesting and provides considerable technical support to users (unlike the MT4).

Interestingly, the MT5 has earned popularity among investors who trade a more diverse range of assets, thanks largely to the fact that it features more than twice as many time-frames as the MetaTrader 4 and up to six types of pending order.

With so-called “Depth of Market” (DoM) data also available through the MT5, this platform is also a little more popular among more seasoned traders who have a far broader range of financial interests.


Which Option is Right for You?

Ultimately, if you’re a beginner or novice trader who’s new to the forex market, you’re best option is to rely on the simple and easy-to-use MetaTrader 4.

This is certainly true when you consider the ability to customise charts, which allows you to have information and technical analysis presented in a way that’s easy to comprehend.

Conversely, the MT5 is more likely to be sought out by seasoned traders with a more diverse portfolio, while its wider range of features suits investors who are more likely to rely on technical support and advanced tools such as the economic calendar.

However, these represent general rules of thumb, so you’ll need to compare both platforms before making an informed decision that suits your trading outlook and strategy.