Expert Advisors (EA) are computer programmes or lines of code that, when added to MetaTrader 4, allow you to participate in automated trading. Each Expert Adviser is distinct and created based on the specific user’s preferences. The unique element that makes it so popular is using robots with analytical skills for trading.

EAs in MetaTrader Platforms

To use EAs when trading, you don’t need to be a skilled coder or seasoned trader. Expert Advisors can be found online for free or for a fee, as well as in the MetaTrader Market, where you can even download a trial version of the chosen EA before purchasing.

It’s crucial to choose carefully when looking through the list of EAs on the MT4 market and not just based on cost, rental duration, or other variables. Several indications could look good at first, but they might need to be put to the test. To examine the criteria that need to be defined, such as risk percentage, market orders, spreads, hedging, goal profit, and many more, you can test an EA after evaluating it.

While other advisors might have a few categories and details, others might have several. Even while there may be times when using a “basic” one is simpler, it is always best to test it out first. Comparing several EAs is usually preferable to making a single choice to maximise their use.

Do EAs Work The Same Way in Live and Demo Environments?

Trades can be opened, closed, or modified by EAs based on various factors and parameters. They can be more complex and contain indicator thresholds, trend analysis, and other statistical points of interest. These can range from price action to changes in account metrics like drawdown and equity. This means that there should be no appreciable variations in performance provided that the same criteria and parameters are applied to the EA on the demo and live environments and that the accounts include the exact same features. Yet there are a few restrictions.

The exception is when order execution dynamics and liquidity circumstances vary between demo and live situations. You effectively have unlimited liquidity in the demo environment. There is no order book; the price at the top of the book applies to all order sizes. The price that is readily available when your order is sent will be the execution price, whether it be for 0.1, 1, 10, or even 100 lots of any traded instrument. This means that, unlike in a live setting, you cannot experience VWAP slippage on your orders.

Because there is a limited amount of liquidity available at each level of the order book in a live environment, your orders will always be matched up against prices based on the size of your order. In this approach, if there is not enough liquidity at the touch price to fill your order, the exact same order for 10 lots on a demo account may show a very different result than one in the live environment. Unlike the simulated demo setting, where you were only filled at the best price possible, your entry and exit pricing might be worse. This will immediately impact the profit or loss on the trade on the live account compared to the trade on the demo account.

Execution dynamics is another area where the circumstances vary. In a live environment, each order is executed in time order after being delivered to a bridge to be compared against the quote from the appropriate liquidity source. Prices can still vary between the time your order is transmitted from your platform (or from the server in the case of pending orders) and the time it is received and executed at the bridge, even though our average execution speed is about 30ms, which is quite quick. This indicates that due to latency, your orders may also experience execution slippage in a live environment. This is only a basic reality of trading in a dynamic online market.

However, there is no race to fill the bridge in the demo setting because commands are instantly carried out. Orders placed by an EA in a demo environment won’t be subject to execution or latency-related slippage as a result.

Conclusion

Lastly, there can be very tiny variations in how pricing is received between the demo and live platforms, including the frequency and timing of ticks. The demo environment’s infrastructure is less complex than the live environment because it is only a constrained simulation of a trading environment.