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How to test indicator – MT4 strategy tester.

Whether you trading for a living or just to make extra cash it is vital to have proper trading tools that will support your trading strategy.
Buying indicator is a challenge because first we spending money on something which meant to help us to make more money, and second, we want a trading tool that we can trust.
Thankfully MT4 platform comes with strategy tester – a place where you can see how an indicator works before you buy it. If you don’t know how to properly use it here is a step by step instructions.

MT4 strategy tester – instructions

If you want to test PAID indicator downloaded from the MQL5 market to start you have to double click chosen indicator or drag and drop it on a chart. You will see a window telling that you can only use the indicator in the strategy tester. This is to give a buyer a chance to see the results of the trading tool applied to historical market data.

Step 1

If you want to test a free indicator or one you have already purchased first you have to open a strategy tester panel. To do this simply click VIEW from the top menu and choose STRATEGY TESTER.

MT4 strategy tester - how to open it

Step 2

If it not already chosen ( sometimes as default is set to Expert Advisor )
from the drop-down menu choose the Indicator option.

Instruction for choosing between Expert Advisor and Indicator in MT4 strategy tester

Step 3

Now choose an indicator that you wish to test against your strategy. If You using demo indicator MT4 will automatically load that for you.

Step 4

Choose a currency pair for testing.

Step 5

The next step is to select a Model. Here the best option is – Open prices only. It will load data relatively fast and correct enough to see whether an indicator fits our strategy or not. If You want to be supper correct please choose an option – Every tick. It loads every historical price tick but because of that it is very slow and requires patience.

Step 6

Next, You can specify the date range – start and stop point for tested indicator. This is very useful if You want to tweak settings of indicator to make sure it works perfectly.

Instruction for date picking in MT4 strategy tester

Step 7

To change the chart’s timeframe click Period and make a selection. If You are scalper You will choose M1, M5 or M15. Long term players will go for H4 and Daily.

Step 8

This step is very important as this is where you set the indicator’s parameters. Make sure you understand how the indicator works and what its options mean. Many trading tools come without proper documentation leaving its users with trial and error way of using it. If not sure how to control an indicator contact the developer.

Instruction on how to change setting of indicator before testing

Step 9

You almost there. To see indicator in action press Start button. MT4 will load a new chart with all settings which You selected.

Step 10

Using a slider lets you control the speed of displaying candles on the chart. When You move it straight to the right, MT4 will complete the test in less than a second.

The conclusion is that even the simplest trading strategy deserves testing to make sure you minimize risk and maximize profit. MT4 strategy tester is free so use it to improve your trading.

Indicator used for article purpose was HMAHull Moving Average

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About Wojtek

Passionate software developer and trader, founder of PipEze.com