Day Trading Simulators

Contributor Image
Written By
Contributor Image
Written By
James Barra
James is an investment writer with a background in financial services. He has worked as a management consultant, where he delivered large-scale operational transformational programmes at some of Europe's biggest banks. James authors, edits and fact-checks content for a series of investing websites.
Contributor Image
Edited By
Contributor Image
Edited By
Jemma Grist
Jemma is a writer, editor and fact-checker focused on retail trading and investing. Jemma brings a unique perspective to the forex, stock, and cryptocurrency markets and works across several investment websites as a researcher and broker analyst.
Contributor Image
Fact Checked By
Contributor Image
Fact Checked By
William Berg
William contributes to several investment websites, leveraging his experience as a consultant for IPOs in the Nordic market and background providing localization for forex trading software. William has worked as a writer and fact-checker for a long row of financial publications.
Updated

A free day trading simulator replicates real-time market conditions, allowing traders to practice strategies in a risk-free environment. Similar to demo accounts, no deposit is required and virtual funds are provided. We have tested free trading simulators and listed them below with full reviews.

To list the best day trading simulators in 2024, we took into account:

  • The assets and markets you can practice trading
  • How closely the simulator mirrors live market conditions
  • Whether there is a backtesting engine with access to historical data
  • The quality of the broker’s live account if you switch to real-money trading

Brokers With The Best Day Trading Simulators

These are the top 10 simulators for day traders with paper funds:

Click a broker for details
  1. 1
    FOREX.com
    Active Trader Program With A 15% Reduction In Costs

    Ratings
    4.9 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.6 / 5
    3.8 / 5

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:50
    NFA, CFTC
    Forex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options
    MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
    Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, ACH Transfer
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, PLN
  2. 2
    NinjaTrader

    Ratings
    4.3 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    2.9 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3 / 5
    3.2 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:50
    NFA, CFTC
    Forex, Stocks, Options, Commodities, Futures, Crypto
    NinjaTrader Desktop, Web & Mobile, eSignal
    ACH Transfer, Debit Card, Wire Transfer
    USD
  3. 3
    eToro USA
    Invest $100 and get $10
    https://www.daytrading.com/ is not an affiliate and may be compensated if you access certain products or services offered by the MSB and/or the BD.

    Ratings
    4.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    3.9 / 5
    3.4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4 / 5

    $10
    $10
    SEC, FINRA
    Stocks, Options, ETFs, Crypto
    eToro Trading Platform & CopyTrader
    ACH Transfer, Debit Card, PayPal, Wire Transfer
    USD
  4. 4
    OANDA US
    CFDs are not available to residents in the United States.

    Ratings
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4.7 / 5
    3.7 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:50
    NFA, CFTC
    Forex, Crypto with Paxos (Cryptocurrencies are offered through Paxos. Paxos is a separate legal entity from OANDA)
    OANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist
    Wire Transfer, Visa, Mastercard, Debit Card, ACH Transfer
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, HKD, SGD
  5. 5
    DNA Markets

    Ratings
    3 / 5
    4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.9 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.6 / 5
    1.8 / 5
    1.6 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.4 / 5

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:500
    ASIC
    CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto
    MT4, MT5
    Credit Card, Debit Card, Wire Transfer, BPAY, Skrill, Neteller, Bitcoin Payments, Bitwallet, AstroPay, Mastercard
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD
  6. 6
    IG
    Forex trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.

    Ratings
    4.9 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.9 / 5
    5 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro)
    FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA, CONSOB
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting
    Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
    PayPal, Wire Transfer, Mastercard, Credit Card, Visa, Debit Card
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, ZAR, SEK, DKK, CHF, HKD, SGD
  7. 7
    Pocket Option
    50% Deposit Bonus

    Ratings
    2 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    2.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.2 / 5

    $50
    $1
    MISA
    Binary Options, Currencies, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, Cryptos
    Web, MT4, MT5
    Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Bitcoin Payments, Volet, Perfect Money, Visa, Mastercard, Debit Card, WebMoney, FasaPay, Ethereum Payments, Maestro, JetonCash
    USD
  8. 8
    IQCent
    20% to 200% Deposit Bonus

    Ratings
    2.5 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    2.4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    2.5 / 5
    3 / 5
    2 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.1 / 5

    $250
    $0.01
    1:500
    IFMRRC
    Binary Options, CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Crypto
    Online Platform, TradingView
    Credit Card, Debit Card, Wire Transfer, Bitcoin Payments, Ethereum Payments, Visa, Mastercard
    USD, EUR
  9. 9
    RedMars

    Ratings
    3.3 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.7 / 5
    4.6 / 5

    €250
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
    CySEC
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos
    MT5
    Credit Card, Wire Transfer, Debit Card, Sticpay, FasaPay, Bitcoin Payments, Trustly, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Klarna, Mastercard, Visa
    USD, EUR
  10. 10
    Interactive Brokers

    Ratings
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5

    $0
    $100
    1:50
    FCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
    Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
    Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
    Cheque, ACH Transfer, Wire Transfer, Automated Customer Account Transfer Service, TransferWise, Debit Card
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, JPY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, AED, HUF

Here is a short summary of why we think each broker belongs in this top list:

  1. FOREX.com - Founded in 1999, FOREX.com is now part of StoneX, a financial services organization serving over one million customers worldwide. Regulated in the US, UK, EU, Australia and beyond, the broker offers thousands of markets, not just forex, and provides excellent pricing on cutting-edge platforms.
  2. NinjaTrader - NinjaTrader is a US-headquartered and regulated brokerage that specializes in futures trading. There are three pricing plans to suit different needs and budgets, as well as ultra-low margins on popular contracts. The brand's award-winning charting software and trading platform also offers a high-degree of customization and superb technical analysis features.
  3. eToro USA - eToro is a social investing platform that offers short-term and long-term trading on stocks, ETFs, options and crypto. The broker is well-known for its user-friendly community-centred platform and competitive fees. With FINRA and SIPC oversight and millions of users across the world, eToro is still one of the most respected brands in the industry. eToro securities trading is offered by eToro USA Securities, Inc.
  4. OANDA US - OANDA is a popular brand offering exceptional execution, low deposit requirements and advanced charting and trading platform features. The top-rated brand has over 25 years of experience and is regulated by trusted agencies, including the NFA/CFTC. Around the clock support is available for short-term traders, alongside flexible contract sizes and automated trade executions.
  5. DNA Markets - DNA Markets is a forex and CFD broker established in 2020. The broker operates two entities in Australia and the offshore jurisdiction, St Vincent and the Grenadines. Traders can access 800+ markets, with a Standard account for beginners and a Raw account for experienced traders. The reliable MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms are available, alongside Signal Start.
  6. IG - Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand-US offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.
  7. Pocket Option - Established in 2017, Pocket Option is a binary options broker offering high/low contracts on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. With over 100,000 active users and a global reach, the platform continues to prove popular with budding traders.
  8. IQCent - IQCent is an offshore binary options and CFD broker based in the Marshall Islands. The brand continues to offer a range of unique account types with bonuses and perks, including payout boosts, TradeBacks and free rollovers. With 100+ assets, around-the-clock trading and 98% payouts, the firm is popular with aspiring short-term traders.
  9. RedMars - Launched in 2020, Cyprus-based RedMars offers competitive spreads on more than 300 instruments and leverage up to 1:500. Three accounts are available - Standard, Pro and VIP - serving a range of budgets and experience levels, with a fast and fully digital account opening process.
  10. Interactive Brokers - Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.

Day Trading Simulators Comparison

Day Trading Simulators Comparison
Broker Free Trading Simulator Trading Platforms Instruments
FOREX.com logo
MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral Forex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options
NinjaTrader logo
NinjaTrader Desktop, Web & Mobile, eSignal Forex, Stocks, Options, Commodities, Futures, Crypto
eToro USA logo
eToro Trading Platform & CopyTrader Stocks, Options, ETFs, Crypto
OANDA US logo
OANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist Forex, Crypto with Paxos (Cryptocurrencies are offered through Paxos. Paxos is a separate legal entity from OANDA)
DNA Markets logo
MT4, MT5 CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto
IG logo
Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting
Pocket Option logo
Web, MT4, MT5 Binary Options, Currencies, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, Cryptos
IQCent logo
Online Platform, TradingView Binary Options, CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Crypto
RedMars logo
MT5 CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos
Interactive Brokers logo
Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies

FOREX.com

"FOREX.com remains a best-in-class brokerage for active forex traders of all experience levels, with over 80 currency pairs, tight spreads from 0.0 pips and low commissions. The powerful charting platforms collectively offer over 100 technical indicators, as well as extensive research tools."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

FOREX.com Quick Facts

Bonus OfferActive Trader Program With A 15% Reduction In Costs
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options
RegulatorNFA, CFTC
PlatformsMT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$100
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, PLN

Pros

  • There’s a wealth of educational resources including tutorials, webinars, and a stacked YouTube channel to help you get educated in the financial markets.
  • The in-house Web Trader continues to shine as one of the best-designed platforms for aspiring day traders with a slick design and over 80 technical indicators for market analysis.
  • With over 20 years of experience, excellent regulatory oversight, and multiple accolades including runner-up in our 'Best Forex Broker' awards, FOREX.com boasts a global reputation as a trusted brokerage.

Cons

  • Funding options are limited compared to leading alternatives like IC Markets and don’t include many popular e-wallets, notably UnionPay and POLi.
  • FOREX.com's MT4 platform offers approximately 600 instruments, significantly fewer than the over 5,500 available on its non-MetaTrader platforms.
  • Despite increasing its range of instruments, FOREX.com's product portfolio is still limited to forex and CFDs, so there are no options to invest in real stocks, real ETFs or real cryptocurrencies.

NinjaTrader

"NinjaTrader continues to meet the demands of active futures traders looking for low fees and premium analysis tools. The platform hosts top-rate charting features including hundreds of indicators and 10+ chart types."

Tobias Robinson, Reviewer

NinjaTrader Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Stocks, Options, Commodities, Futures, Crypto
RegulatorNFA, CFTC
PlatformsNinjaTrader Desktop, Web & Mobile, eSignal
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD

Pros

  • You can get thousands of add-ons and applications from developers in 150+ countries
  • NinjaTrader continues to deliver comprehensive charting software for active day traders with bespoke technical indicators and widgets
  • Traders can get free platform access and trade simulation capabilities in the unlimited demo

Cons

  • There is a withdrawal fee on some funding methods
  • Non forex and futures trading requires signing up with partner brokers
  • The premium platform tools come with an extra charge

eToro USA

"eToro remains a top pick for traders looking for leading social investing and copy trading services. With a low deposit, zero commissions and an intuitive platform, the broker will meet the needs of newer day traders."

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

eToro USA Quick Facts

Bonus OfferInvest $100 and get $10
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsStocks, Options, ETFs, Crypto
RegulatorSEC, FINRA
PlatformseToro Trading Platform & CopyTrader
Minimum Deposit$10
Minimum Trade$10
Account CurrenciesUSD

Pros

  • eToro USA Securities is a trustworthy, SEC-regulated broker that is a member of FINRA and SIPC
  • Investors can access Smart Portfolios for a more hands-off approach, covering a range of sectors and markets such as renewable energy and artificial intelligence
  • The broker's Academy offers comprehensive learning materials for beginners to advanced-level investors

Cons

  • There's no MetaTrader 4 platform integration for traders who are accustomed to using third-party charting tools
  • Average fees may cut into the profit margins of day traders
  • There's a narrower range of day trading instruments available compared to competitors, with only stocks, ETFs and cryptos

OANDA US

"OANDA remains an excellent broker for US day traders seeking a user-friendly platform with premium analysis tools and a straightforward joining process. OANDA is also heavily regulated with a very high trust score."

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

OANDA US Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Crypto with Paxos (Cryptocurrencies are offered through Paxos. Paxos is a separate legal entity from OANDA)
RegulatorNFA, CFTC
PlatformsOANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, HKD, SGD

Pros

  • The proprietary OANDA web platform continues to deliver a highly competitive charting environment, including 65+ technical indicators powered by TradingView
  • OANDA is a reliable, trustworthy and secure brand with authorization from tier-one regulators including the CFTC
  • Day traders can enjoy fast and reliable order execution

Cons

  • There's only a small range of payment methods available, with no e-wallets supported
  • The range of day trading markets is limited to forex and cryptos only
  • It's a shame that customer support is not available on weekends

DNA Markets

"DNA Markets is an excellent choice for short-term traders familiar with the MetaTrader platforms. The smooth sign-up process also makes it easy to get started while the $100 minimum deposit is accessible. That said, DNA Markets trails the top brokers in education, research and mobile trading. "

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

DNA Markets Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto
RegulatorASIC
PlatformsMT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$100
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:500
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD

Pros

  • Short-term trading strategies are permitted including scalping and automated trading using Expert Advisors (EAs)
  • You can access low trading fees with spreads from 0.0 pips in the Raw account and zero non-trading fees
  • Convenient account funding is available with 7 base currencies, a $100 deposit and a wide range of payment methods

Cons

  • Although it continues to strengthen its client base and reputation, DNA Markets lacks the track record of top brokers like Vantage
  • Despite access to MT4 and MT5, there is no proprietary trading app for seamless account management whilst on the go
  • Unlike many alternatives, there are limited educational and research tools for traders seeking an all-in-one solution

IG

"IG continues to provide a comprehensive package with an intuitive web platform and best-in-class education for beginners, plus advanced charting tools, real-time data, and fast execution speeds for experienced day traders."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

IG Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting
RegulatorFCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA, CONSOB
PlatformsWeb, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, ZAR, SEK, DKK, CHF, HKD, SGD

Pros

  • The proprietary web-based platform continues to caters to traders of all levels, with advanced charting tools and real-time market data useful for day trading
  • IG is amongst the best in terms of its range of instruments, which includes stocks, forex, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, providing ample diversification opportunities
  • IG offers an extensive collection of professional and engaging educational resources, including webinars, articles, and analysis

Cons

  • IG applies an inactivity fee of $12 per month after 2 years, deterring casual investors
  • IG has discontinued its swap-free account, reducing its appeal to Islamic traders
  • While there is negative balance protection in the UK and EU, there is no account protection or guaranteed stop losses for US clients

Pocket Option

"Pocket Option excels for its easy-to-use web platform which provides a best-in-class user experience for short-term binary traders. The $50 minimum deposit is also accessible for beginners while opening an account is really easy. Looking at the negatives, Pocket Option still trails alternatives in its market offering and regulatory credentials."

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

Pocket Option Quick Facts

Bonus Offer50% Deposit Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsBinary Options, Currencies, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, Cryptos
RegulatorMISA
PlatformsWeb, MT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$50
Minimum Trade$1
Account CurrenciesUSD

Pros

  • Well-funded traders who deposit $1000+ can qualify for a 2%+ payout boost, more tradable assets and exclusive perks
  • The web platform shines for its straightforward design and usability that will appeal to beginners looking to speculate on popular financial markets in a few clicks
  • The MetaTrader platforms offer integrated analysis with helpful technical summaries for short-term traders

Cons

  • You need to deposit $1000 to access the extended list of 250+ assets, otherwise just 130+ assets are available
  • The MISA is a weak regulator with limited investor protection for retail traders
  • Despite offering competitive payouts up to 92%, binary brokers like IQCent offer higher returns up to 98% based on tests

IQCent

"IQCent will appeal to day traders looking for a straightforward binary options and CFD trading platform with low fees, a range of accounts, and copy trading. Getting started takes less than 1 minute and a $250 deposit. "

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

IQCent Quick Facts

Bonus Offer20% to 200% Deposit Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsBinary Options, CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Crypto
RegulatorIFMRRC
PlatformsOnline Platform, TradingView
Minimum Deposit$250
Minimum Trade$0.01
Leverage1:500
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR

Pros

  • The broker offers up to 98% payouts on binary options, which is more than alternatives like Pocket Option, only offering up to 92%
  • Keen traders can take part in trading contests with cash prizes
  • CFD trading fees are competitive based on tests, including 0.7 pips on major forex pairs such as EUR/USD

Cons

  • The market analysis is very basic with limited technical summaries and insights from analysts
  • The broker is not overseen by a respected regulator, though this is common among binary options firms
  • There's no automated trading support for algo traders

RedMars

"RedMars is the best fit for experienced day traders familiar with the MetaTrader 5 platform and based in the EU, where the broker is authorized by the CySEC. However, the threadbare education and research tools make it unsuitable for beginners."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

RedMars Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos
RegulatorCySEC
PlatformsMT5
Minimum Deposit€250
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR

Pros

  • Clients in the EU, in particular, can trade with peace of mind knowing RedMars is authorized by the CySEC with up to €20K compensation available through the ICF in the event of bankruptcy
  • The broker supports a range of flexible payment methods, including wire transfers, credit cards, e-wallets, and notably cryptocurrencies
  • The broker is one of a limited number of firms to offer an account specially designed for VIPs with premium support and invites to exclusive events

Cons

  • RedMars falls short for newer traders, with little in the way of education, no beginner-friendly platform, a steep minimum deposit, and inadequate support during testing
  • While RedMars' spreads are within industry averages, they don't offer a significant edge over the cheapest day trading brokers we've personally used, notably IC Markets
  • The no-frills trading environment offers little beyond the basics, with no Islamic account, PAMM account or copy trading.

Interactive Brokers

"Interactive Brokers is one of the best brokers for advanced day traders, providing powerful charting platforms, real-time data, and customizable layouts, notably through the new IBKR Desktop application. Its superb pricing and advanced order options also make it highly attractive for day traders, while its diverse range of equities is still among the best in the industry."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

Interactive Brokers Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsStocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
RegulatorFCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
PlatformsTrader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade$100
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, JPY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, AED, HUF

Pros

  • While primarily geared towards experienced traders, IBKR has made moves to broaden its appeal in recent years, reducing its minimum deposit from $10,000 to $0.
  • The TWS platform has clearly been built for intermediate and advanced traders and comes with over 100 order types and a reliable real-time market data feed that rarely goes offline.
  • IBKR continues to deliver unmatched access to global stocks with tens of thousands of equities available from 100+ market centres in 24 countries.

Cons

  • IBKR provides a wide range of research tools, but their distribution across trading platforms and the web-based 'Account Management' page lacks consistency, leading to a confusing user experience.
  • TWS’s learning curve is steep, and beginners may find it challenging to navigate the platform and understand all the features. Plus500's web platform is much better suited to new traders.
  • Support can be slow and frustrating based on tests, so you might find it challenging to reach customer service representatives promptly or encounter delays in resolving issues.

How We Compare Brokers With Trading Simulators

To rank the best day trading simulators, our experts considered:

Investment Offerings

Most day trading simulators offer access to stocks and forex. However, the top programs also provide other assets and instruments, including commodities, cryptocurrencies, and futures.

We prefer providers that offer access to a wide range of markets. Not only does this provide portfolio diversification opportunities, but it also means you don’t need to open several paper trading accounts at different firms.

Entry Requirements

The top brokers provide free access to their day trading simulators, which will serve most beginners. This also comes with the advantage that you can effectively test an online broker before upgrading to a real account.

Alternatively, experienced traders may prefer to trial ideas through a paid service that offers richer market data and more advanced tools. TraderSync is a good option here.

The user-friendly software offers custom playlists whereby you can quickly replay various trade setups. It also offers data on daily returns, total profits, total losses, returns from going long and short, and the net overall profit or loss.

TraderSync day trading simulator overview report

Platform Features

The quality of the trading platform or app where you will simulate trades is an important consideration.

We look at the breadth of technical analysis tools, such as charts and indicators.

Our team also note that many investors are interested in automated trading. So, we consider whether there is access to a free simulator on MetaTrader 4 (MT4) – industry-leading software that comes with Expert Advisors (EAs).

Having said that, beginners may prefer a no-frills day trading simulator from a broker like TradeNation.

This easy-to-use program walks you through the basics of setting up a day trade, from using margin to risk management parameters:

Results from TradeNation day trading simulator

How you access the simulator service is also key. The best brokers offer a simple browser-baed solution, while other firms offer platforms that can be downloaded on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.

Alternatively, there may be mobile apps available for Apple and Android devices.

Simulated Market Conditions

Our experts assess how well the simulator mirrors true market conditions.

Good providers offer accurate and realistic pricing spanning a variety of markets as well as sufficient historical data for backtesting.

Based on our tests, the top firms offer upwards of 4 years of historical information with level 2 market data.

Live Account Conditions

A day trading sim is a great place to start, but many traders will eventually want to upgrade to a real-money account. With this in mind, our team evaluate the live trading conditions available at providers.

In our experience, the best brokers offer an accessible minimum deposit of <$500, tight spreads with low to zero commissions, and around-the-clock customer support to help new traders get started.

We also favor brokers authorized by tier-one regulators, such as the UK Financial Conduct Authority and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. This is a good indication that a brokerage can be trusted.

Final Thoughts

A day trading simulator is one of the best ways to improve your trading skills. After spending time in a fake trading account, you can then switch to a live account with real money.

With this in mind, day trading simulators should not be treated as a game, but rather a tool to build confidence and test trading concepts.

Also, remember that there is no guarantee that strategies which are successful in a simulator will make money in a real account.

FAQs

What Is A Day Trading Simulator?

A day trading simulator works like a demo account, allowing traders to test and refine strategies using virtual funds.

The best programs closely replicate live conditions and also offer a backtesting engine, so traders can simulate strategies using historical data.

How Do Day Trading Simulators Work?

Day trading simulators use market data to create a trading environment that is similar to live conditions. As a result, clients can test out strategies using both real-time information and historical data.

Most brokers with day trading simulators do not require a deposit to access the test environment. Upon sign-up, you will receive a sum of virtual funds to practice trading stocks, forex or another product. This is typically in the range of $10,000 to $100,000.

What Is The Best Day Trading Simulator?

Our experts have reviewed, compared and listed the best day trading simulators with full reviews.

To rank the top simulators, we considered the assets you can practice trading on, the quality of the trading software, the amount of virtual money available, and any joining requirements.

Should I Use A Day Trading Simulator?

Day trading simulators offer several advantages. Primarily, they provide a risk-free environment to test new strategies. Beginner traders can build their confidence and develop good trading habits, while seasoned investors can trial new trade setups.

The best trading simulators are also available outside of core trading hours, allowing you to backtest ideas on the weekend, for example.

What Are The Risks Of Day Trading Simulators?

Day trading simulators cannot replicate the emotions you feel when trading with real money. As such, a day trading sim will not expose you to the same level of pressure, which can lead to over-confidence in paper trading mode.

Often, simulators will not account for all the costs that come with live trading. For example, sims rarely include slippage, which is the difference between the expected price and the actual execution price.

Finally, a strategy may work when you backtest it against historical data, but there is no guarantee it will work going forward with real money.

Are Day Trading Simulators Free?

Many brokers offer free day trading simulators. For example, eToro provides free access to its stock market and forex trading simulator for all traders that register an account.

There are even trading sims where no login details or sign-up is required, available from brokers like TradeNation. However, in our experience, these normally offer fewer features and tools.

Article Sources

The writing and editorial team at DayTrading.com use credible sources to support their work. These include government agencies, white papers, research institutes, and engagement with industry professionals. Content is written free from bias and is fact-checked where appropriate. Learn more about why you can trust DayTrading.com