The MT4 and MT5 trading platforms – how do they differ?

For the uninitiated, MetaTrader is arguably the leading piece of trading software available today, and the one most predominantly offered by the best brokers around the world.

There are two versions – colloquially referred to as MT4 and MT5 – that are typically used by traders, and they offer a number of tools to help enhance your trading activities. That’s how they have cemented their position as the most effective trading platforms.

Both are designed to offer the execution of trades with minimal fuss, although the capabilities of MT4 and MT5 are slightly different. Therefore, it pays to know which will add more value to your trading. 

The finest brokers, such as Octa FX as one example, offer both MT4 and MT5, and so you can get to grips with both at your own leisure.

But to accelerate the process, we thought we’d detail the main differences between the two and identify the one that you should be using for your particular area of trading.

Let’s take a deeper dive into MetaTrader. 


The fundamental thing to note is that MT4 was ultimately the forerunner for MT5, given that it was released five years earlier, and so it does not offer all the functionality of its successor.

However, MT4 is such a solid piece of trading software that the majority of traders – particularly those new to the game or trading low volumes – will still be more than satisfied.

MT4 is designed largely with forex trading in mind, with its dashboard and charts confirming as such, whereas MT5 offers a more intuitive approach to traders of other instruments and assets.

From an analytical perspective, MT4 features fewer technical indicators and charting options than MT5, although it should be said that those on offer in the earlier version will still satisfy the needs of most traders.

If you are looking for a solid option via which to trade forex, you will do well to find a more effective solution than MT4.


While MT5 should not be considered a direct upgrade to MT4, it can fairly be described as a ‘next level’ version of the platform.

The key difference between MT5 and its predecessor is that this later version has been designed to offer a ‘one stop shop’ approach to trading any instruments – be it forex, stocks, commodities, crypto and so on. It is a multi-asset platformand, as such, it might be more appropriate for you.

It offers more timeframes and charting than MT4, while the interface can be customized to your unique requirements across the board. 

While MT4 offers four types of pending orders – buy stop, buy limit, sell stop, sell limit, MT5 kicks on with another two options: buy stop-limit and sell stop-limit. That offers traders more options when protecting their position.

It is also worth mentioning the programming language that goes into both platforms – especially useful if you plan on building your own trading bots. MQL4 is a fairly straightforward programming language that allows for basic instructions to be implemented, whereas MQL5 is rather more advanced. You can write scripts and build your own automation, with a single trade executable through one simple function.

MT5 also incorporates a really handy economic calendar into its dashboard, which outlines key events that are upcoming that could impact upon the markets. 

In conclusion

And so there you have it: a rough guide to the strengths and weaknesses of MT4 and MT5. 

If you are a complete newcomer to trading, or plan on focusing on forex trading exclusively, then MT4 is a fantastic option for you to explore. If you’re looking for a more versatile, customizable option in your trading, MT5 has to be the way to go.