Comparing MT4 to Oanda desktop - differences vs similarities

MetaTrader 4 and Oanda FXTrade are two pieces of software that are used for trading Forex, as well as other securities. MT4, on the one hand, is a universal trading program and many brokerages use them to facilitate trading. FXTrade desktop trading platform, on the other hand, is a software developed by and offered to the clients of Oanda Forex broker.
There are various differences and similarities between the two programs. When it comes to their designs, we can definitely see a major difference in skin colors, chart placement, and the overall layout of various tools and indicators. MT4 is locked to a retro skin with white and light-grey colors, while FXTrade offers various skin colors, including white and black themes, and is more modern-looking.
When it comes to charts and available time frames, there’s also a significant difference between MT4 vs FXTrade. MT4 offers three basic charts - line, bar, and candlestick - with 9 timeframes, whereas FXTrade offers those three, as well as other chart types and 21 different timeframes.
As for the trading itself, MT4 mainly offers Forex pairs, while also supporting some metal commodities and CFDs. FXTrade desktop app, however, has a more diverse asset collection and offers not only Forex pairs, but lots of commodities, indices, and bonds.
The two pieces of software have some specific offerings as well. For example, FXTrade features economic analysis, market pulse, and quicker executions. MetaTrader 4 offers the auto-trading bots called Expert Advisors that control the positions based on your initial commands.


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Comparing Oanda desktop vs MT4

In Forex trading, one of the most popular pieces of trading software is MetaTrader 4. It was developed by a company called MetaQuotes for Forex traders that use different brokers. Whereas Oanda desktop trading program - also known as FXTrade - was created by a foreign exchange company, Oanda, specifically for its users.
The reason why brokers use MetaTrader 4 for Forex is its limitation in available tradable instruments. Since there are around 200 different Forex pairs, it’s a lot easier for brokers to incorporate all of them in their trading platform, while there are far more elements in other asset groups (stocks, commodities, etc.).

When it comes to Oanda’s FXTrade desktop platform, the software supports more tradable assets than MT4. When opening up the program, the left side of the screen shows us four groups of assets: Forex pairs, bonds, indices, and commodities. Even though MetaTrader also supports some metal commodities and CFDs, the difference in the available securities between FXTrade vs MT4 is still very noticeable.

How do these platforms look?

Now, let’s talk about the design of the two pieces of software. As our reader may already know, the MT4 interface looks like a retro Windows 98 with white and gray skin colors. It definitely has an old-school feeling to it.

As for the Oanda desktop trading platform, it is much more flexible when it comes to choosing your own design. In the Tools menu, you can change the color of the interface; the skin options include default (a blank theme), white, black, green, blue, etc. On top of that, the software also allows users to change the font size and language. Overall, the FXTrade design seems more modern than its MT4 counterpart.

As for the various windows and their placement, we also see a significant difference between the two programs. In MT4, the charting window contains four charts for different securities and takes up a large part of the screen. In FXTrade, we only have one chart which is located in the lower-right part of the screen. While it’s also a pretty large window, it’s still not as large as the one in MT4.
These programs also use different programming languages. MT4 is written in a specific MQL4 language. This means that only the MetaTrader user community can use it to develop new scripts and tools for the program.
FXTrade, however, has a much more common programming language - Java. When comparing MT4 to Oanda desktop in terms of their programming language, it is obvious that Java is a more well-known system and more programmers can create new tools for the trading program. It is also easier to use than MQL4.

Trading with MetaTrader 4 and Oanda FXTrade

Now that we have reviewed the cosmetic differences between the two pieces of software, let’s now compare their trading features. We’ll begin with their charting features.

Charting features

As mentioned earlier, the MT4 default screen features four individual charts that cover a big section of the whole interface. Traders have the ability to choose which type of chart they want to see by pressing the right button on the mouse/trackpad. There are 3 most popular chart types available on MT4 - line, bar, and candlestick.

In Oanda’s FXTrade, the charting window also takes a large portion, yet it’s a bit smaller than the one in MT4. But that is not the only Oanda MT4 difference in charts; Oanda offers 8 additional charts, as well as 3 above-mentioned ones - 11 in total. For example, traders can choose the simple candlestick, or ask/bid candlestick chart, Min/Max chart, etc.
Both trading programs allow traders to open/close positions directly from the live chart. In MT4, each of the four charts has its accompanying window for selling/buying the security, whereas the Oanda FXTrade has a special Advanced Charting window with the same, as well as other additional functionalities - be it adding custom tools or shapes.

Traders also have the ability to choose different timeframes for the charts. In MT4, there are 9 different timeframes - 4 minute-, 2 hour-, 1 day-, 1 week-, and 1 month-timeframes. In FXTrade, there are even more timeframes; 21 in total - 4 second-, 8 minute-, 7 hour-, 1 day-, and 1 week-timeframes. While FXTrade offers second-timeframes, MT4 features ticks - the smallest price change of an asset.

Specific trading features in MetaTrader 4 and Oanda FXTrade

Apart from charting types and available timeframes, there are also other significant differences between MT4 and FXTrade in trading features. One of the most obvious differences is the automatic trading option.
MetaTrader 4 is well-known for its Expert Advisors - autonomous trading bots - that open, close, and modify positions for the traders. Besides, traders can develop their own Expert Advisors using the MQL4 programming language and determine the terms of individual trades. As for the Oanda FXTrade, there’s currently no automatic trading option on the platform.
MetaTrader also offers a MetaQuotes Language Editor feature. With it, traders have the ability to develop their own scripts, indicators, and tools that they’ll use in actual trading. Again, FXTrade doesn’t have such a feature that would allow traders to develop various elements in Java.
Then there comes the Oanda desktop trading program and its specific features. First, and probably the most useful feature is economic analysis. This is basically a news section that gathers various news pieces about international trade and global economics. But instead of just offering those articles - which MT4 also does, - FXTrade also provides their analysis and price predictions.
Another differing aspect when using FXTrade or MT4, is how quickly you can open and/or close positions. In MetaTrader 4, it can take some time to actually process the orders. In FXTrade, however, the positions open/close much more quickly, which can be a significant advantage for traders because prices can change very quickly.


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MetaTrader 4 vs Oanda FXTrade - Key takeaways

Both MT4 and Oanda desktop trading software - FXTrade - are trading programs developed by MetaQuotes and Oanda Forex broker. While MT4 is a more commonly-used platform across the Forex market, FXTrade is only available for the Oanda traders.
Because of its limitations to how many tradable assets it can offer, MT4 only supports Forex pairs, yet it also has one or two metal commodities and CFDs. Unlike MT4, FXTrade is much more unrestricted in this sense: it offers Forex pairs, commodities, bonds, and indices, and even features CFD trading through the web trading platform.
When it comes to the differences between the two pieces of software, we found many specific features in both programs. For example, MT4 offers Expert Advisors and MQL4 Language Editor, whereas FXTrade has an Economic Calendar and enables traders to open/close positions more quickly.
When it comes to choosing FXTrade vs MetaTrader 4 for beginners, while both of them are perfectly usable, many inexperienced traders would go for MT4 because of its limited tradable assets and more straightforward interface. However, if a trader wants to open positions for various securities, use more charts and timeframes, or get economic analysis, they would probably choose Oanda’s FXTrade.

FAQ on the benefits of Forex trading

What are the advantages of investing in Forex?
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Trading Forex, just like any other asset type, has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some people prefer a foreign exchange of currencies over buying and selling stocks, commodities, or cryptocurrencies.
And when it comes to the FX trading advantages, there are certain points to take into consideration: first, the Forex market is very liquid, meaning that at any time, it’s possible to buy or sell currencies using cash because, well, the currency is itself a form of money.
Another reason why Forex might be preferable for traders is the ability to make smaller deposits. It’s especially beneficial for beginner traders who want to get into this business.
Then there are smaller commissions, easily “readable” markets, directly tradable assets, etc. But that’s not to say that risks aren’t present here. Volatility - a sudden change in price - can have a detrimental influence even on experienced traders.

Why should I trade Forex?
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There are several reasons why people would want to engage in trading, be it Forex, commodities, or any other market. When it comes to Forex, people usually find it easy to enter this market even if they’re beginners.
One of the main reasons behind this simplicity is the ability to make smaller deposits. Mini and Micro accounts offered by service providers allow traders to deposit, say, $50 or $100 dollars and use a complete toolset of charts, spread, and leverage.
Apart from that, there is the leverage that can increase trading volumes. For example, if a trader deposits $100 on their account, the leverage rate of 1:50 can increase that deposit to $5,000. This way, traders can buy $5,000 worth of currencies and get bigger payouts as a result.

Which is easier Forex or stocks?
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There’s not a universal answer as to which one is simpler: trading Forex or trading stocks. Some people prefer the volatility of stocks, which leads to higher payouts but also threatens them with bigger losses. It’s a high-risk, high-return business.
But that doesn’t mean Forex isn’t. It’s also quite volatile, but not so much as stocks. People prefer some other FX advantages, and one of them is higher stability. That’s because the governments are in control of the monetary policy and they usually want to make their currencies as stable as possible.
If we take a look at the ease of getting into trading, maybe Forex might be a better option for beginners. The reason for that is the smaller deposit requirements. Traders can choose micro or mini accounts, deposit fewer funds, and minimize the risks.

Why is an education in Forex trading important?
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Getting an education is important in not just Forex, but in every field of trading. At least that’s how many traders have become successful in it. Of course, there are some who were lucky enough to get bigger payouts right away, but more often than not, people aren’t usually that lucky and the benefits of FX come to those who are more prepared.
Not to be too dependent on chance, traders prefer to gain some knowledge in the field, get to know the main indicators and drivers of the market and then proceed to trade.
Another strategy they usually follow is to constantly check the global politics and economy. What happens in the world can greatly influence the currency prices and thus, the payout prospects. That’s why having them in check allows traders to make more or less accurate predictions.
Why is Forex trading a bad idea?
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There’s no such thing as one particular type of trading being good or bad. Rather, it’s about how people use them and manage risks associated with them.
So, here’s why Forex trading is a bad idea in some cases: some of its risks and dangers can be no less pressing than that of other markets. There are high volatility rates to account for, because more often than not when traders buy too many currency pairs with no prior calculations, the risk of them losing funds becomes higher.
Another downside of Forex is that when service providers offer leverage, it not only increases the prospective payouts; it also expands the possible losses. And for that reason, people tend to make more calculated decisions about how many currency pairs to buy and sell.

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At Axiory Global Ltd. we try to bring trading back to the client. A professional trading environment with fast executions and highly secured internal procedures, these are foundations on which we build and which we take seriously. But for us, it’s not enough. 

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