Review of the MT4 Strategy Tester. Part 3 (System Testing)
In comparison with indicators, passing the test of advisors in MT4 is more perfect. The drawbacks of indicator testing were discussed in the previous part, and there are no such problems in relation to EAs. However, there is an opinion that the results of testing advisors in MT4 are far from reality and it is better to use MT5. The decision is up to you. Let’s just note that the general principle and testing settings in MT4 and MT5 coincide by at least 80%.
Testing Expert Advisors in MT4
In the previous parts, which you will find in the Automated Trading Systems section of the FxCash blog, the principle of indicator testing was described. The preparation for launching the trading system in the tester is almost the same as for working with indicators: we add the values of the asset prices of the previous periods and in the window under the chart select the “Expert Advisor”.
Next step: in the main MT4 menu, open the chart settings (they can be found in the Service in the main menu), copy everything as shown in the screenshot below.
In the block, which is highlighted with a blue rectangle on the first screen, click “Expert Properties”. There are several tabs here:
- Testing… Here you enter the amount of the initial deposit and indicate the option for opening deals: in both directions or only in one (buy or sell position).
- Input parameters… Here you can set the position volume and other settings related to risk management. We change only the parameters in the “Value” column, leave the other parameters in the columns unaffected. You do not need to check the boxes.
- Optimization… This tab will be discussed in the following parts of the review. It will be needed after the results of testing the Expert Advisor in MT4 are received.
Take a look at the screenshot below:
If you run one robot on one pair, then setting all these settings manually is quick and easy. If testing on several pairs is supposed, then MT4 assumes the possibility of creating a settings template: in the “Input parameters” there are buttons “Save” and “Load”. All other parameters are the same as those described in the section on testing indicators.
Press the “Start” button and … Or wait until the end of the chart run (recall that for the “Every tick” model, the end of testing will take a long time. Chart traversal speed – from “1 year” hour, provided the value in the scroll bar is set to “31”) … Or we watch how the advisor opens positions. In the “Skip until” column, specify the date – before this date, testing will go without visualization on the chart, but all open trades will be included in the final report.
A few words about the MT5 tester in comparison with the MT4. If MT4 provides only testing of an indicator or an Expert Advisor, then MT5 has visualization, a stress test with delays, full and genetic optimization, there is forward testing – all this functionality is worthy of a separate article. Visually, it looks like this:
Compared to MT4, the MT5 tester is more functional and gives results that will be closest to what can be obtained in the real market. In other words, if you are in the mood for professional testing, then use MT5. If the goal is to check the Expert Advisor at least superficially or to optimize it, then MT4 is enough.
In the next part, read on how to analyze the backtest.