MetaStock vs MetaTrader

When it comes to trading in the financial markets, having access to reliable and powerful trading software is crucial for success. Two popular platforms that traders often consider are MetaStock and MetaTrader. Both MetaStock and MetaTrader have gained significant popularity among traders worldwide, offering a wide range of features and capabilities. In this article, we will conduct a comprehensive comparison of MetaStock and MetaTrader, analyzing their key features, usability, charting capabilities, customization options, and overall suitability for different types of traders.

MetaStock vs MetaTrader
MetaStock vs MetaTrader

Introduction to MetaStock and MetaTrader

MetaStock: A Time-Tested Solution

MetaStock is a well-established trading platform that has been around for over 35 years. It has earned a reputation for its robust charting capabilities, extensive technical analysis tools, and reliable data. MetaStock offers a range of features, including advanced scanning capabilities, expert advisors, and backtesting functionality.


MetaTrader: The Industry Standard

MetaTrader, developed by MetaQuotes Software, is widely recognized as the industry standard for forex and CFD trading. It has gained popularity due to its user-friendly interface, powerful charting tools, and automated trading capabilities. MetaTrader supports algorithmic trading through its built-in programming language, MetaQuotes Language (MQL).


Key Features Comparison

Market Access and Asset Coverage

Both MetaStock and MetaTrader provide access to various financial markets, including stocks, futures, forex, and commodities. However, MetaStock tends to focus more on U.S. markets, whereas MetaTrader offers broader international coverage.

Technical Analysis Tools

Both platforms offer an extensive range of technical analysis tools, including various chart types, indicators, and drawing tools. MetaStock is known for its extensive library of proprietary indicators, while MetaTrader provides a vast selection of built-in and customizable indicators.

Fundamental Analysis Tools

MetaStock excels in fundamental analysis, offering access to comprehensive fundamental data and screening capabilities. On the other hand, MetaTrader primarily focuses on technical analysis and does not provide the same depth of fundamental data.

Backtesting and Optimization Capabilities

MetaStock offers powerful backtesting and optimization features, allowing traders to test their trading strategies using historical data. It provides detailed reports and performance metrics. While MetaTrader also supports backtesting, its capabilities are more limited compared to MetaStock.

Automated Trading Options

Both MetaStock and MetaTrader support automated trading. However, MetaTrader’s integrated Expert Advisors (EAs) and MQL programming language provide advanced capabilities for creating and deploying algorithmic trading strategies.

Indicator and Expert Advisor Libraries

MetaStock offers a vast library of proprietary indicators and expert advisors. It also allows users to create custom indicators using its Formula Language (MSFL). MetaTrader has an extensive marketplace with thousands of indicators, expert advisors, and scripts developed by third-party vendors.

Usability and User Experience

User Interface and Navigation

MetaStock has a relatively straightforward user interface, but it may require some learning curve for beginners. On the other hand, MetaTrader offers a more intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easier for novice traders to get started.

Charting Tools and Analysis

Both platforms provide powerful charting capabilities, allowing traders to analyze price movements and apply technical indicators. MetaStock offers advanced chart types and drawing tools, while MetaTrader focuses more on customization and flexibility in terms of indicators and overlays.

Order Execution and Trade Management

MetaStock integrates with various brokerage platforms to facilitate order execution. MetaTrader, being a trading platform itself, offers direct order execution and advanced trade management features, including stop-loss and take-profit orders, trailing stops, and partial close options.

Multi-Platform Availability

MetaStock is primarily a desktop-based software, although it offers a web-based version called MetaStock XENITH. MetaTrader, in addition to its desktop version (MetaTrader 5), provides web-based and mobile versions (MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5), allowing traders to access their accounts from anywhere.

Charting Capabilities

Advanced Chart Types

Both MetaStock and MetaTrader support a range of chart types, including line charts, bar charts, candlestick charts, and more. MetaStock offers advanced options like Renko charts, Point & Figure charts, and Heikin-Ashi charts, providing traders with additional visual perspectives.

Drawing Tools and Annotations

MetaStock and MetaTrader provide essential drawing tools for trendlines, support and resistance levels, and other technical analysis annotations. MetaStock offers a more extensive set of drawing tools, including Fibonacci retracements, Gann angles, and cycle tools.

Indicator and Overlays

Both platforms offer a wide array of technical indicators, allowing traders to apply popular tools like moving averages, oscillators, and volume indicators. MetaStock has a comprehensive library of proprietary indicators, while MetaTrader provides a vast selection of built-in and customizable indicators.

Customization Options

MetaStock allows traders to create custom indicators and explorations using its Formula Language (MSFL). It also offers advanced customization options for chart templates and layouts. MetaTrader’s MQL programming language enables traders to develop custom indicators, expert advisors, and scripts.

Real-Time Data and News Integration

Both MetaStock and MetaTrader offer real-time data feeds, although the specific data providers may vary. MetaStock integrates with its data service, MetaStock XENITH, while MetaTrader typically connects to various brokers and data providers. News integration is available on both platforms, keeping traders informed of market developments.

Customization and Programming Options

MetaStock’s Formula Language (MSFL)

MetaStock utilizes its proprietary Formula Language (MSFL) for creating custom indicators, explorations, and system tests. MSFL is a powerful scripting language that allows traders to develop their technical analysis tools and strategies. With MSFL, users can define custom formulas, apply conditions and filters, and perform complex calculations.

MetaStock’s Formula Builder provides a user-friendly interface for writing MSFL code. It offers a comprehensive set of functions and operators, making it easier for traders to implement their trading ideas. Additionally, MetaStock’s extensive formula library provides pre-built formulas that can be customized and integrated into trading systems.

MetaTrader’s MetaQuotes Language (MQL)

MetaTrader uses MetaQuotes Language (MQL) for programming custom indicators, expert advisors (EAs), and scripts. MQL is a versatile programming language specifically designed for algorithmic trading. It allows traders to create complex trading strategies and automate trade execution.

MQL is similar to the C programming language, making it easier for developers with programming experience to transition to MetaTrader. The MetaEditor integrated development environment (IDE) provides a powerful set of tools for writing, debugging, and optimizing MQL code. Traders can access a vast MQL community where they can find code examples, share ideas, and seek assistance from experienced programmers.

Ease of Use for Non-Programmers

While both MetaStock and MetaTrader offer customization through scripting languages, MetaTrader may be more accessible to non-programmers due to its user-friendly interface and intuitive coding environment. The MetaEditor IDE simplifies the process of creating indicators and EAs, providing wizards and templates that guide users through the development process.

In contrast, MetaStock’s Formula Language (MSFL) may require a steeper learning curve for non-programmers. However, MetaStock offers extensive documentation, tutorials, and user forums to support users in mastering MSFL and creating their own indicators and trading systems.

Third-Party Add-ons and Plugins

Both MetaStock and MetaTrader have a vibrant ecosystem of third-party developers who create add-ons, plugins, and tools to enhance the functionality of the platforms. These third-party offerings include custom indicators, expert advisors, trading systems, and data providers.

MetaStock has a well-established marketplace called the MetaStock Trading App Store, where users can browse and purchase a wide range of add-ons developed by third-party vendors. MetaTrader also has an extensive marketplace known as the MetaTrader Market, which offers thousands of indicators, expert advisors, and scripts that traders can integrate into their trading strategies.


After a thorough comparison of MetaStock and MetaTrader, it is evident that both platforms offer robust features and tools for traders in the financial markets. MetaStock, with its long-standing reputation, excels in technical analysis, charting capabilities, and fundamental analysis tools. It is a good choice for traders who heavily rely on in-depth analysis and backtesting.

On the other hand, MetaTrader, being the industry standard, provides a user-friendly interface, extensive market access, and powerful automated trading options. It is particularly popular among algorithmic traders and those who seek a seamless trading experience across multiple devices.

Ultimately, the choice between MetaStock and MetaTrader depends on individual preferences, trading styles, and specific requirements. Beginner traders may find MetaTrader more intuitive and easier to navigate, while technical analysis enthusiasts may appreciate MetaStock’s advanced chart types and extensive library of proprietary indicators.

Systematic traders and algorithmic trading enthusiasts are likely to favor MetaTrader due to its built-in programming language (MQL) and vast marketplace of third-party indicators and expert advisors. Institutional traders and money managers may also find MetaTrader’s capabilities and multi-platform availability beneficial for their trading operations.

Traders need to consider factors such as market access, asset coverage, technical analysis tools, customization options, and pricing when making a decision. Additionally, one’s level of experience, trading goals, and preferred trading instruments should also be taken into account.

In conclusion, both MetaStock and MetaTrader offer powerful solutions for traders, each with its strengths and advantages. Conducting a thorough evaluation of one’s trading requirements and experimenting with both platforms through trial versions or demo accounts can help in making an informed decision. Ultimately, selecting the right platform can significantly enhance a trader’s efficiency, analysis, and overall trading experience.

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