cTrader Review

cTrader Review | Review By A Forex Trader

A clear platform with powerful features

  •  Copy Trading
  •  Automated Trading
  •  News Trading
  •  cBots Trading Robots
  •  Technical Indicators
  •  User Friendly
User Friendly Trading Platform To Trade Complex Markets In Different Ways

cTrader 4 Review

cTrader is an online trading platform which a number of brokers support. What this means is that the trader can open an account with a broker then download cTrader from them. cTrader is typically available as a desktop download, a web trader and a mobile app. The current version is cTrader 4, which is covered in this review.

cTrader is a distinctive platform, as it is arguably user friendly and has powerful advanced trading features such as automated trading and support for news trading. Because of this, it can be seen as a platform which traders can potentially use across a broad range of trader experience.

However more practically, cTrader may perhaps be better seen as a platform which more experienced traders may wish to try, particularly those who are used to executing their own trades but may want to have this capability allied with the capacity to let robots trade on their behalf or to copy trade.

Automated trading used to be on a separate platform, but it is now fully integrated on the main platform (which means that the trader does not need to use cAlgo to trade with robots).

Pluses of cTrader

This segment looks for potential pluses of cTrader including perhaps less obvious ones, but pertinent to trading. The first potential plus is for traders who trade using value levels. Trading on value levels is a kind of technical trading, where the trader looks for significant value levels and projects possible outcomes based on past behaviour (with the caveat that any projection can be wrong no matter what analysis is used, trading markets are complex and can and do move in unpredictable ways). It can be allied with other technical methods such as candlestick analysis and patterns (and indicators). The idea is to hard wire an analysis in value rather than conceptually 'free floating' patterns or other approaches.

Sometimes a pattern which is emerging or changing makes more sense when the trader notices that in fact the trade is at a big figure and is tracing out the kind of pattern a market may show (which can be quite regular) when navigating its way up or down over major value levels. Of interest can be figures such as half way between big figures or three quarter/one quarter way (e.g. on USD/JPY: 90, 90.50 and 90.75/90.25, taking the example of 90 as a big figure value for this market). In general this kind of analysis is grounded in support and resistance and increases and decreases in momentum and volatility. But the figure (significant value) provides a basis for these core market patterns.

cTrader has a clear presentation of value. Taking a candlestick chart price type, it will show the value range for each candle. The chart itself is clear and easy to see and can be either light or dark. This can help make sense of complex movement in value traced out on the chart and thus assist the trader in finding a context for what is happening. Indeed key to this is time frame analysis and cTrader goes to town on this, with an unusually wide range of possibilities.

Time frame analysis helps the trader understand the context for a move happening on a particular time frame. For a quick sweep through a market, which is a good idea before starting to trade it, this trader has found this sequence useful: Monthly -> Weekly -> Daily -> 4hr -> 30min -> 5min and trade entry on 1 min, but other traders and strategies may have different approaches. Managing a trade can involve checking higher or lower time frames (amongst other factors). Time frame analysis may make what can be seemingly meaningless moves on a chart, more meaningful. So instead of ignoring the complexity which is evident on the chart the trader aims to makes use of this to the extent this is possible.

The less a trader understands the chart, the more they are dependant on approaches which can tend to black box analysis, that is following an indicator for example, even if they understand what the indicator is doing. Put simply, cTrader helps with chart based approaches as it places the chart as it is used by traders who seek to make sense of it, in clear focus. The trader can find markets (called Symbols, like on MT4 and MT5), place orders, find a time frame and indicators and graphical objects by right clicking on the chart.

A further potential plus is the capacity of this platform for news trading, particularly news trading which is based on the chart. The features which may be helpful with regard to charting analysis can also be helpful for news traders, who may require relatively precise readings of changes in value. At its heart, news trading can be about trading on ebbs and flows in volatility, based on flows in and out of the market, which can show up in the chart at specific times. So how does the trader know what data is being released, when it is being released and what effect it may have on the market ?

When a symbol is selected to Trade, there is a box on the right which includes Order information, Depth of Market (DoM), an economic calendar for that symbol and a general (or Crypto) news feed. The economic calendar has information geared for the market (thus the trader does not have to examine a calendar off the platform when placing an order), showing potential Impact on the market and Actual, Consensus and Previous figures. Whether the trader trades the news or not, checking an economic calendar helps indicate when a markets may be subject to volatility (i.e. potentially affecting other trades even of the trader is not trying to news trade on this volatility). cTrader offers a tool set for applying both technical and fundamental analysis and providing automated trading, copy trading and performance analysis all in one relatively user friendly package.

There are a number of ways to trade the news, for example trading on volatility before the release, taking a position in the quiet time before release, and trading after release. Trading after release can include trading in the next sessions, as the potential effects of the news event may be seen again and as the effects linger in the market and change in accordance with new interpretations of the news. The attraction of the moment of the release, is that potentially this is the clearest kind of reaction the market may give and any later effects will be absorbed into the market's complexity. However as an indication of how complex markets are, this is not necessarily the case and oscillations may be seen even at the time of release.

News trading itself reflects the general observation that the market at any time may not do what is expected. However the potential of a clear reaction, just like the potential for clear patterns in normal market conditions, is what makes for a trading market. The clarity and detail of cTrader may help with at least representing what the market is doing.

On the left hand side of the platform are four icons defining the three main sectors of this platform. One is Trade, which covers trading in general, the next is Copy, which provides social and copy trading via cTrader Copy, another is Automate, which focuses on automated trading and the fourth is Analyse which shows factors such as performance and account balance.

Moving to Automate, this brings up another clear outline for what is a complex process, namely automated trading with online trading robots and building indicators. The trader will find sample programs (called cBots) implementing various strategies. They will also find sample indicators. More can be downloaded, typically for a fee. However the trader can also build their own systems and indicators. When a cBot is selected by 'adding an instance' of it (which is the + button on the right of each cBot), it brings up a chart with a play button. This is an intutive way to select and run the robots.

It should be noted that online trading robots can result in losses sometimes rapidly in the trader's account and like all trading approaches the trader should try and understand what it is the robots is doing. Ideally the trader may wish to develop a strategy or use one under the Trade state of cTrader and then move to automating it (however the trader can find cBots from Trade and trade on their own behalf from Automate).

There are a wide range of factors which can affect performance and the fact a robot performed well in the past does not mean it will do so in the future. The trader may appreciate this by knowing how a strategy they themselves execute may stop working.

cTrader and other trading platforms

Roughly speaking, equivalent platforms to cTrader include JForex and of the MetaTrader platforms MT5 (which is the optimised and enhanced successor to MT4). MT5 can draw on the wide use of and availability of MT4 and its extensive support network of software and tools and add its own. These platforms support traders who execute their own trades and who use automated trading. Some brokers offer both MT4 and MT5.

MT5 can typically have more markets to trade. At some brokers there may be many markets on MT5, even rivalling platforms designed for traders who execute their own trades, though some of these other platforms have many more Stocks CFD to trade or even real Stocks.

Similarly, JForex can have a considerable offering of markets and provides a relatively large number of technical indicators inbuilt into the platform. Additionally it is also a platform which has a clear layout and structure, but supporting powerful features.

Traders who want to use social and copy trading may wish to use a platform dedicated to these types of trading. But for those who want to trade markets like Forex, Indices, Commodities and Cryptocurrency CFDs then cTrader can provide these and its range of trading features.

In general, how does cTrader stack up against other platforms ? cTrader has developed to try to seamlessly integrate core, disparate ways to trade, namely trading using the chart, trading using robots and trading using the view or trades of other traders. Other platforms may concentrate on one or the other, though some aim to cover all these bases. cTrader has a focus on clarity and user friendliness in its integration of different ways to trade.


cTrader is an online trading platform which takes a complex set of procedures and processes and aims to clarify them in their presentation. It may help the trader clarify (and develop) their own approach to trading, rather than being determined by the platform.

Arguably the platform is clear enough that a wide range of traders may use it, but a trader may also prefer a platform which is designed to be user friendly, even if it does not offer advanced features such as automated trading.

However experienced traders may find this platform a home from home or even a new home. cTrader can be offered along with other trading platforms and brokers with a range of platforms including MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 along with cTrader are listed below. Signing up for any of these brokers lets the trader create accounts to trade different platforms, including cTrader.