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The speed at which technology is developing continues to grow, with many traders eager to embrace it.
However, technology remains a mystery for large numbers of traders, and can be particularly confusing when it comes to installing external technical indicators on MetaTrader platforms. This tutorial, however, should help simplify things.
MetaQuotes Software Corp. released MetaTrader 5 (MT5) in 2010 and continues to square off with its predecessor, MetaTrader 4 (MT4). MT5 was designed to facilitate multi-asset trading, supporting financial instruments such as Forex, CFD products (think cryptocurrency and commodity CFDs), as well as futures, options, stocks and bonds. MT4, however, only caters to the Forex market and CFDs.
MetaTrader 5: Technical Indicators
Derived on the back of mathematical formulas, technical indicators play a major role in many trading strategies (or trading systems) with a focus on technical analysis. Indicators help interpret trend, volatility, momentum and volume. Popular indicators include the relative strength index (RSI), Bollinger Bands and moving averages. Note that indicators operate on all timeframes and in most financial markets.
MT5 features 38 built-in technical indicators (figure 1.A), and permits access to a substantial library of custom indicators through the MQL5 community. MQL5.com is considered the largest market of trading robots and technical indicators, a place that brings together MQL5 developers and traders.
MT5’s external indicators are developed using MetaQuotes Language 5 (MQL5), a specialised C++ based high-level object-oriented programming language. All trading applications for MT5 are written in MQL5 (MQL4 is the programming language for MT4).
(Figure 1.A: MT5 Indicators)
Create an MQL5 account
To access MT5’s immense library of external indicators, establishing an MQL5 account is required – go to MQL5 and generate a username and password. Following this, you’ll receive an email with an account password. Click Activate account and sign in using your login details (figure 1.B).
(Figure 1.B: MQL5 Account Sign Up)
Signing in activates the home page (figure 1.C). To access available custom indicators, click on the Market tab located in the upper panel (green arrows), to which you’ll be presented with a selection of indicators (figure 1.D) for both MT4 and MT5.
(Figure 1.C: MQL5 Home Page)
(Figure 1.D: MQL5 Indicators)
MetaTrader 5: External Custom Indicators
Through MQL5.com, it is a straightforward process to download and install external indicators on MT5.
As displayed in figure 2.A, users are free to filter between Popular, New, Free and Paid indicators (orange area). In addition, filtering indicator type, such as Trends, Oscillators and Channels is an option (bottom left-hand panel – red box). Just below this you will also find an FAQs section – a helpful how to guide.
Popular searches are Expert Advisors and Indicators (blue box). Expert Advisors (EAs) offer an automated trading process, recognising when and where to enter (including the use of pending orders), the position size, stop-loss as well as trailing stop features. Indicators, on the other hand, represent newly formed indicators developed in MetaQuotes Language 5, and variations of existing indicator types.
(Figure 2.A: MQL5 Indicators)
For the purpose of this demonstration (figure 2.B), the focus is on the free custom indicator titled: HammerStar. According to the developer, it is designed to search for Hammer and Shooting Star candlestick patterns on charts of any currency pairs, presumably for those trading Forex.
(Figure 2.B: MQL5 Indicators)
By clicking on the indicator, you’ll be presented with the developer’s home page (figure 2.C). It is from here you can evaluate the indicator’s description (overview), and inspect any reviews and comments (red box). You also have the option of reviewing the developer’s profile (green arrow), in addition to any images provided by the developer (blue arrow). Once satisfied with the indicator’s description, click on the Download tab (blue box).
Subsequent to this, a pop-up box will appear (shown in figure 2.C), enquiring whether you have an active MT5 account. This can be either a demo account or a live trading account.
Clicking on the left tab (Yes, I have MetaTrader 5 – Open MetaTrader 5) should activate your MT5 trading platform and automatically install the indicator in the lower section of the trading terminal, under the Market tab (figure 2.D). Failure to load, working through your MT5 platform is an alternative, as illustrated in figure 3.A. Click on Market and select Indicators (red arrows). This will allow users to search for the desired indicator.
(Figure 2.C: MQL5 Indicators)
(Figure 2.D: MQL5 Indicators)
(Figure 3.A: MQL5 Indicators)
Once downloaded, you can activate the indicator by clicking Insert > Indicators > Custom > HammerStar, as demonstrated in figure 3.B. Your list of active indicators and EAs can also be found in the Navigator window (Ctrl+N) – double-click to activate the desired program.
After activating your custom indicator, the program should begin functioning and offer real-time trading signals, as in figure 3.C. However, experienced traders recommend back testing indicators before committing live funds.
(Figure 3.B: MQL5 Indicators)
(Figure 3.C: MQL5 Indicators)
To uninstall an indicator, right-click on the chart and select Indicator List and click Delete.
Users can also create a chart template, essentially providing a way of duplicating indicator settings on multiple charts. To do this, right-click on the chart, scroll down to Templates and click Save Template (figure 3.D). In order to load templates, simply repeat the process and choose Load Template.
(Figure 3.D: MT5 Chart Template)
FP Markets: A Leading CFD and Forex Broker
The FP Market’s MT5 platform delivers a first-rate experience in Forex trading, shares, metals, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies. MT5’s platform excels in trading automation (algorithms), providing traders the ability to produce and modify their own trading robots and indicators. This is beneficial for traders who run different trading strategies across alternate asset classes.
FP Markets also offer full mobile accessibility on all trading platforms. MT5 is available on iOS and Android devices, offering the convenience of being able to trade wherever you are.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this material is intended for general advice only. It does not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. FP Markets has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information as at the date of publication. FP Markets does not give any warranty or representation as to the material. Examples included in this material are for illustrative purposes only. To the extent permitted by law, FP Markets and its employees shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising in any way (including by way of negligence) from or in connection with any information provided in or omitted from this material. Features of the FP Markets products including applicable fees and charges are outlined in the Product Disclosure Statements available from FP Markets website, www.fpmarkets.com and should be considered before deciding to deal in those products. Derivatives are complex instruments can be high risk; losses can exceed your initial payment. FP Markets recommends that you seek independent advice. First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd trading as FP Markets ABN 16 112 600 281, Australian Financial Services License Number 286354.