The cTrader Trading Platform
cTrader is an Electronic Communication Network trading platform designed by Spotware Systems, a company based in Europe. The cTrader is an ECN platform brand which is designed as a turnkey platform and which can be adapted for use by several brokers.
The cTrader platform provides straight-through processing (STP) for orders placed by forex traders, allowing them to deal directly with banks and liquidity providers without the intervention of a dealing desk. The cTrader platform is not as popular as the Meta Trader 4 Trading software and traders have a much smaller pool of brokers to choose from.
cTrader platform versions
There are several versions of the cTrader platform. These are as follows:
- cTrader desktop
- cTrader web
- cTrader mobile (android and iOs)
The desktop client of cTrader is a downloadable file which can be setup to work on a PC or laptop. It requires a username and password for the trader to login to either the demo account or the live account. The file is downloaded as an executable (.exe) file and then has to be unpacked and setup by following the prompts on the screen.
The web trader is a web-based, non-downloadable version of cTrader. This is accessible from the broker’s website as an URL, which also requires a username and password for login. It carries the same functionality as the downloadable version of the software but is deployable anywhere. The URL comes in the format: https://ct.brokername.com). The snapshots used in this article are from FxPro, hence the cTrader on this broker is accessible on https://ct.fxpro.com.
The mobile versions of cTrader are built for the Android devices as well as the iOs devices (iPhone and iPad). This allows traders to trade forex with cTrader on the go. The cTrader mobile apps can be downloaded from the respective stores (Google Play for Android and App Store for iOs).
cTrader user guide: Getting started
This is the first button located on the top left page of the cTrader interface. This button enables traders to perform a number of functions related to a demo or a live account.
- Sign in: This is used to prompt the trader to log in to a live or demo account, create a new demo account or change the cTrader connection settings
- Open Demo Account: Traders can open a demo account from the cTrader platform using this function
- Open Live Account: It is not possible to open a Live account from the cTrader platform. The tab redirects to the broker’s web page where live account opening can be done
- Exit cTrader (Alt+F4): Closes the terminal. All active robots will be stopped, but any open trades will not be affected
This is a snapshot of the web-based version of the cTrader platform showing the chart section, the currency pairs on the left and a range of other function buttons arranged all over the interface. We will now describe how some of the most basic trade functions work on the cTrader platform.
cTrader user guide: Placing orders
Traders can place two types of orders on cTrader: the market orders and the pending orders. Trade orders are initiated by either pressing the F9 button or by clicking the cTrader tab on the top left corner of the interface, then clicking “New Order” in the drop-down menu that shows up.
When the order windows are opened, the trader has the option of filling the relevant boxes with the appropriate information such as order price, limit price, stop price, etc.
When orders are placed, a new window showing the active orders and the pending orders opens. Here is a snapshot of the pending orders window:
cTrader user guide: Instrument information
Traders get to see the following information for each order:
a) Order ID: The order ID is the identification number assigned to the trade order.
b) Time: Shows the date and time the order was placed.
c) Symbol: This is the symbol for the asset which the trader intends to trade.
d) Volume: This is the trade volume that the trader has assigned for the trade. On cTrader, trade volumes and not the lot size is the way that sizes of trades are measured.
e) Type: Shows the type of order that the trader has set. These could either be Limit or Stop orders on the Buy or Sell side.
f) Entry: Shows the trade’s entry price.
g) Expiry: Exclusive to pending orders, this is the time at which the trade order can expire. A trader may decide that the order will not be valid after a certain time. This is where the trader can set the parameters for an invalid order to expire.
h) T/P: Stands for “Take Profit” point.
i) S/L: Used to connote the “Stop Loss” point.
j) Distance Shows the pip distance between the market price and the entry price for the Limit or Stop order.
k) Price: This is the current price of the asset in the market.
cTrader user guide: Tools and charting
Next to the cTrader tab on the top navigation bar is the “Tools” bar. This is where traders get to discover the various trading tools available to them. Examples of these tools are:
- Chart Mode: Traders can select one out of three chart modes. The single chart mode displays a single chart on the interface. The multi-chart mode presents several charts on the interface and each can be selected by clicking the relevant tab. The free-chart mode enables the trader to view the chart in a different window as a separate entity from the platform.
- Lines: This function activates the Line tool, used in drawing trend lines.
- Equidistant Price channel: This is for tracing channels on the chart.
- Fibonacci: This is to activate the various Fibonacci tools (retracement, arc, expansion, etc).
- Pitchfork: This function is used to identify the fork pattern where it exists.
- Set Price Alert: Assuming a trader wants to use a Limit or Stop order at a particular price, this function sets an audio alert for the trader, which is useful if the trader is not immediately on the computer.
cTrader user guide: Tradable Assets
On the left side of the platform interface, the trader is able to view the entire list of tradable assets (currencies, spot metals, etc) using the “Symbol” tab, as well as pick specific assets and save them under a Watchlist.
cTrader user guide: Preferences
cTrader user guide:Button Shortcuts
Around the chart window are located several tabs. These are all shortcut tabs that can be used to execute functions on the chart as well as technical analysis.
One of the most important of these buttons is the keyboard shortcut display button. Engaging this button, which is located on top of the chart window, displays several keyboard shortcuts for various functions on the cTrader.
cTrader user guide:Deposits/Withdrawals
Traders can also initiate deposits and withdrawals from their cTrader accounts, directly from the cTrader platform. This is done by pressing/clicking the green Deposit/Withdrawal button located at the bottom left corner of the platform interface.