Introduction to the MT4 Platform

Introduction to the MT4 Platform

Reading time: 6 minutes

Used by millions of traders and investors worldwide, the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform has remained the go-to solution for many Forex and CFD traders since its launch in 2005. Developed by MetaQuotes Software, the third-party trading platform is licensed to online brokers, who then offer it to their clients. At its core, MT4 offers a user-friendly platform, a comprehensive list of trading tools and a wide range of financial instruments, making it a popular choice for novice and experienced traders. 

This article will serve as a basic introduction to the MT4 platform. To get the full experience, you are encouraged to download a demo trading platform and familiarise yourself with its functions.

MT4 Basics

While there are a number of components you must familiarise yourself with to get started trading with MT4, there are some must-know basics to understand: the Market Watch and the Navigator.

As shown below, the Market Watch Window presents an easy-to-read list of all the available instruments to trade with FP Markets and their respective bid (sell price) and ask (buy price) levels; this can be accessed by hitting Ctrl+M on MT4. You will note that when you first begin trading with MT4, the default will only display a handful of Forex pairs. However, you can add all the instruments available to trade by right-clicking the Market Watch Tab and selecting ‘show all’. Also, as you can see from the image below, the Navigator panel displays quick access to terminal features, including accounts open with FP Markets (this can be both demo and live Trading Accounts), Indicators, Expert Advisors (EAs), Custom Indicators and Scripts.

(MT4 Market Watch and Navigator Panel)

Features of MT4:

MT4 is equipped with a range of features that cater to the needs of both manual and automated traders. Some of its key features include the following:

  • User-Friendly Interface: 

MT4's intuitive yet simple design ensures both beginners and advanced traders can use the platform to navigate the financial markets efficiently. The choice of different chart types—the bar chart, the line chart and, the most popular, the candlestick chart—on top of 9 different timeframes, makes it a platform suitable for all trading styles.

The platform is also available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, allowing traders to trade anywhere.

  • Order Types:

With MT4, a number of basic order types are available, including the Market Order (buy or sell at the next available market price) and the Pending Order. Under the latter, in the drop-down box ‘Type’, you will note that there are four options: Buy Limit, Buy Stop, Sell Limit and Sell Stop, each of which serves different needs. You can explore different order types here. Below, you’ll find the New Order Window, which can be accessed simply by pressing F9 from your chosen instrument of interest. 

One of the great things about MT4 is the ability to manage all your trades directly from the chart, meaning you can easily alter protective stop-loss orders and take-profit orders.

  • Technical Tools:

While most technical analysts (and technical traders) use only one or two technical indicators to assist them in their operations, MT4 offers 30 ready-to-go technical indicators as well as more than 2,000 free custom technical indicators. This includes all the most popular indicators, including the Relative Strength Index (RSI), the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD), Bollinger Bands, Moving Averages and a host of drawing tools to plot support and resistance levels and trendlines, along with Gann and Fibonacci tools.

  • Algorithmic Trading: 

MQL4 (MetaQuotes Language 4) is a programming language designed for the MT4 trading platform. It enables traders to create custom indicators, Expert Advisors (EAs), and scripts to automate their trading strategies. MQL4 is an object-oriented, high-level programming language that resembles C++ and Java in its syntax and structure. It provides comprehensive functions and tools for analysing market data, executing trades and managing trading positions.

How to Start Trading with MT4?

Hopefully, This article has provided a stepping stone for you to begin exploring the many features the MT4 platform offers. MT4 remains a popular choice for traders and investors due to its ease of use, versatility, and advanced features. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced trader, MT4 offers the tools you need to succeed in the financial markets. 

With FP Markets, downloading and accessing the MT4 trading platform is straightforward. The time to open an account will depend on whether you are opening a demo or live Trading Account. The former takes only a few minutes to set up and download, while the latter can be up and running within a day.

For more information, check out this comprehensive page detailing everything from opening an account to downloading the platform. 

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