The foreign exchange market is the largest and most volatile financial market in the world. But if you can tame the beast, you can make serious money trading currency pairs.
Of course, practice makes perfect. It takes a while to get good at forex trading. Fortunately, in the meantime, you don’t have to lose money as you practice trading.
Several forex trading simulators — also known as paper trading accounts — mimic real market conditions. They make it easy to test your strategies risk-free in real time because you aren’t trading with real money. Once you perfect your strategy in the virtual environment, you can move on to live trading with confidence.
The Best Forex Trading Simulators
Our pick for the best overall forex trading simulator will come as no surprise to most experienced traders.
It’s MetaTrader 4, part of a platform that’s become a household name in the forex industry because it provides some of the most robust tools available to professionals and nonprofessionals alike. The best part is that all of its innovative features are available in the simulated trading environment.
Other forex demo trading providers on the list earned their spots by doing a couple of things very well. For example, eToro is a great place to practice social trading. Traders Academy Club offers robust forex education, making it a perfect option for beginners.
Best Overall: MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader is one of the most popular forex trading platforms on the market today. It’s the premier choice among expert traders because it offers best-in-class functionality and innovative technology that gives you a competitive edge in the market whether you’re day trading, swing trading, or following another strategy.
Along with the company’s technical indicators and many of its other features, its trading simulator — the Trading Strategy Tester — is second to none.
That’s because it’s not a stripped-down version of what the live trading platform offers. Instead, you can practice trading with all the bells and whistles traders love about the platform. Take advantage of in-depth technical indicators and advanced order types far beyond the traditional buy, sell, take-profit, and stop-loss options.
- Works With Cryptocurrencies. You can use the MetaTrader 4 simulator to test your strategy for trading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether.
- Backtester. The backtester uses historical data across a time frame you define to see if your strategy would have produced a profit in the past. Though history doesn’t always repeat itself in the market, it’s a great indicator of a solid strategy.
- Automated Trading.You can choose from a vast list of pre-built strategies to use as you learn. You won’t be stuck at the desk doing it either. Everything on MetaTrader 4’s desktop platform is available on Android or iOS through the company’s mobile app.
Best for Social Traders: eToro
Social trading is a trend that’s gaining serious traction, especially in the forex market. In fact, it’s a trend that helped propel eToro to become one of the best brokers in the industry. The platform features several social trading features up to and including the ability to copy the trades expert forex traders make.
Of course, eToro wouldn’t be on this list if it didn’t offer a stellar trading simulator.
You start with a demo account balance of $100,000 in virtual money. Once you’re in the demo account, you have all the tools you’d experience in a live account with the brokerage, including social trading tools. You can even use the simulator to see how copy trading works out when you copy the professional traders you’re watching.
- Backtesting. eToro provides backtesting similar to the tool MetaTrader 4 offers so you can verify the results of the trading simulator.
- Multiple Assets to Choose From. The broker is popular among forex traders, but it’s also gaining traction among stock market participants by offering access to stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and more than 30 cryptocurrencies.
- Commission Free. You pay spreads on forex trades, but ETF and stock trading are commission-free.
Best for Beginners: Traders Academy Club
Traders Academy Club was developed by forex market guru and long-time forex trader Vladimir Ribakov to teach the average person how to trade forex profitably while practicing sound risk management.
Its trading simulator is part of this mission. The idea is to help you practice what you’ve learned in the academy before you start trading in the real world with real money.
Because it’s part of a robust educational program that teaches you everything you need to be successful as a forex trader, it’s ideal if you’re just starting out on your forex trading journey.
- Mentorship. Traders Academy Club isn’t just a school. All students enjoy mentorship from Vladimir Ribakov himself. You can contact him in the chat room or ask questions during live training webinars.
- Reasonable Pricing. Though some trading simulators are free, few are coupled with a complete course on forex for just $297 per year. Traders Academy Club is one of them.
- Career Opportunity. If you get serious about trading and want to turn it into a career, Vladimir will help. He has been known to help his students who shine the brightest land jobs as professional traders who trade for large organizations.
Best for One-on-One Training: ForexSignals.com
Deciding whether Traders Academy Club or ForexSignals.com was the best forex simulator for beginners was a difficult decision to make.
They’re both centered around education, but we came to the conclusion that Traders Academy Club’s basic lessons were easier for beginners to understand.
Nonetheless, if you want one-on-one training from mentors, ForexSignals is the way to go. It’s the best place to get hands-on guidance and insight as you learn the ropes and use the trading simulator to perfect your forex trading strategy.
- Daily Live Trading Sessions. Join daily live streaming trading sessions to watch and learn from the pros.
- Learn at Your Own Pace. The educational series lets you learn at your own pace by giving you bite-sized pieces of info with each lesson.
- Momentum Indicator. The momentum indicator is one of the multiple expert tools ForexSignals.com offers. It’s a great indicator that can open the door to several trading opportunities.
Best for Familiarity: Forex.com
If you already trade forex and you want to use your brokerage’s trading simulator, Forex.com is the way to go. The company is the largest forex broker in the United States and has held that title for some time now. As a forex trader, you likely already know a bit about them.
What you may not know is that Forex.com offers a robust market simulator using live market data from its brokerage.
The simulator is easy to use and mirrors the live trading accounts on the broker’s platform. It’s packed with technical indicators and all the advanced order types you need to effectively trade using any strategy.
- Low Spreads. A currency pair spread is the difference between the price you can buy at and the price you can sell at. This difference is retained by the broker as a fee. The lower the spread, the lower the trading fees — and Forex.com has some of the lowest spreads in the business.
- Asset Variety. Forex.com offers one of the largest varieties of currency pairs available with any U.S.-based broker.
- TradingView Advanced Charting. Why try to beat ‘em if you can join ‘em. Forex.com uses TradingView’s award-winning advanced charting features. TradingView is a leader in technical analysis and advanced charting features — built to give you a leg up on the competition in the market.
Best for Multiple Asset Traders: Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is one of the most popular online brokers today, but stocks aren’t the only assets you can trade on the live account or when you use the company’s trading simulator. The platform features stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds, currency pairs, cryptocurrency, options, and futures trading.
That’s a lot. Which is good news if you trade more than one asset class. And Interactive Brokers offers a full-feature paper trading account for all of them. So no matter what you want to trade, Interactive Brokers has you covered.
- Research Tools. Interactive Brokers offers some of the most intuitive research tools online today. The tools make technical and fundamental analysis quick work with all the data you need at your fingertips.
- Low Spreads. The broker is another that’s known for offering low spreads on currency pairs.
- Quality Customer Service. Interactive Brokers has made a name for itself in the industry by providing a compelling product matched with an educated customer service team that’s always ready to help.
Methodology: How We Select the Best Forex Trading Simulators
We used six criteria when selecting the forex trading simulators we believe to be the best, including the tools they make available to users, their overall cost and value, and the other capabilities they offer.
Tools Available in the Simulation
Forex traders use a wide range of tools: charting features, drawing capabilities, and technical indicators, among others. Some simulators don’t feature the tools expert forex traders would expect to see when they log into a high-quality trading platform.
None of them are on the list above.
All forex trading simulator providers featured above offer a robust set of trading tools and top-level real-time data so you can enjoy a simulation that feels like a live trading account.
Other Services Offered by the Providers
Few companies only offer simulators, and none of those made it on our list. A trading simulator is only one tool necessary to become a professional trader or improve your performance as an expert.
We reviewed all products and services offered by the companies behind the trading simulators on our list to make sure that the simulator isn’t a way to rope you into a high-cost service you don’t need.
Traders with access to the best technology often become the most successful. In fact, a big reason MetaTrader 4 made it to the top of our list is the technological innovation found in the platform and its accompanying simulator.
However, all simulators on this list are pieces of state-of-the-art technology that have the potential to take your trading game to the next level.
Available Order Types
Successful traders use a wide range of order types — like limit and stop loss orders — to give them control over entry prices and exit prices while they limit exposure to losses.
All simulators on this list feature a wide range of order types. Though some are more advanced than others, they all have all the order types you need to be a successful trader.
Most options on our list are free. However, the simulators that aren’t free are part of wider services. We dove deep into the services you pay for to make sure you get your money’s worth. We didn’t list any simulators we believe are priced unfairly.
The United States forex industry is heavily regulated, many forex platforms aren’t able to meet regulatory requirements. All simulators on our list are available to U.S. customers and backed by companies that meet all U.S. regulatory requirements.
Forex Trading Simulator FAQS
The day you stop questioning everything is the day you stop learning. Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions about forex trading simulators.
Are Forex Trading Simulators Free?
Some simulators are free and others are part of larger services that you pay for. Before you sign up for a paid option, consider the service as a whole and make sure the promised value is worth the cost.
Can I Master Forex With a Trading Simulator?
Simulators are where you learn forex trading, but they won’t make you a master. Mastering forex trading takes years of experience and dedication to the industry. You need real-life experience to become an expert, as is the case in any industry.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Forex?
With the right educational service providers, trading tools, and a dedication to beating the learning curve, you could be trading profitably within a couple months.
However, if you want to become an expert, it will take some time — likely years. Forex isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, and everyone starts at the bottom rung of the ladder.
Can I Learn Forex by Myself?
Yes, you can learn just about anything by yourself these days. However, if you want to make quick work of a relatively steep learning curve, it’s best to consider forex trading courses and linking up with a mentor or two.
How to Choose the Best Forex Trading Simulator
So, you’re ready to sign up for a trading simulator, but you’re still not sure which one to choose. Use the following considerations to boil down your decision:
- How Experienced You Are. If you don’t have much trading experience, use a simulator that’s part of a larger educational service like Traders Academy Club or ForexSignals.com. If you’re experienced and want the latest and greatest in technology, look for a more robust simulator that’s part of a leading trading platform like MetaTrader 4 or Forex.com.
- Your Willingness to Pay. If you’re not willing to pay, you have fewer options, but even our best pick is free. So, if you’re looking for free trading simulators, nix those with fees before starting your comparison.
- The Types of Assets You Trade. If you only trade forex, any of the providers above could be a good fit for you. If you trade other assets like stocks, bonds, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, you should consider an option like Interactive Brokers that supports them all.
- What Order Types You Need. Finally, if you’re a more experienced trader, you need more advanced order types than beginners. Think about the types of orders you need access to and choose a trading simulator that supports them.