MT4 is known for its various pending order types, but what about MT5? Between the two platforms, which one has the best option of pending orders?

MT4 vs MT5 pending orders, which one is the best? That is the question. Although the answer is far from simple, you can't deny that using pending orders can make your trading activity easier. It is an excellent option for traders who are still working full-time or are generally very busy. You don't have to wait in front of the screen watching the price move. Just set an order and wait for them to be executed. Here are the differences between the two platforms:

  • MT4: Good for basic orders like stop orders and limit orders
  • MT5: Best if you need to adopt a strategy that needs more flexibility in setting the pending orders

mt4 vs mt5 pending orders


What is Pending Order?

In short, a pending order is an instruction to buy and sell an instrument when a certain condition the trader set is met. If a trader wants to place a pending order, they will inform their brokers that they only want their order executed when the market price reaches a desired level.

Pending orders can be used in MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5). Both MT4 and MT5 pending orders are divided into two categories: limit orders and stop orders.

A limit order can be executed at the price at which you expect a reversal will take place. Limit orders are useful to prevent slippage. However, they risk not being filled at times of strong momentum in a certain trend.

On the other side, the stop orders are chosen to execute an order at a price that is expected to be broken. Unlike limit orders, they might be subjected to slippage in a fast-moving market.

Besides the two general categories, sometimes traders use a stop-limit order. This one is quite different as it combines both stop and limit orders. A stop-limit order gives the trader more control over the prices of their trades. The trade will only be executed if the market prices fulfill the stop and limit order criteria. It is helpful in situations like the weekend gap, price gap, slippage, etc.


MT4 vs MT5 Pending Orders

Before choosing the winner, you need to know all the types of pending orders. There are six types of pending orders in MetaTrader platforms. Generally, MT4 provides the ability to order with buy stop, sell stop, buy limit, and sell limit orders. MT5 goes further by allowing traders to not only choose the 4 basic pending orders but also present them with buy-stop limit and sell-stop limit orders.


1. Buy Stop

Buy stops can be found in both MT4 and MT5. You can use this order when you expect the price to increase and break through the buy-stop level. When the price hits your buy-stop level, your order turns into a market order and is executed. This entry type is perfect if you are looking for a break above the previous candle or a key resistance level. For example, take a look at this GBP/USD chart. The trader who issues a buy-stop order waits for the price to reach 1.31. So when the price touches the line, the order will be executed.

Buy Stop Order


2. Sell Stop

A sell stop is the opposite of a buy stop. It's a type of order to use when you are expecting the price to go lower and drop below certain key support. In this example, a trader places a sell-stop order below 0.77. The sell-stop order will be executed when the price moves past the intended target.

MT4 vs MT5 pending order


3. Buy Limit

The buy limit is also available in MT4 and MT5. You use the buy limit when you expect the price to rise from key support below the current price. When the price hits the level you intended, a buy limit order is executed.

Buy Limit Order


4. Sell Limit

The sell limit is similar to the buy limit, but it's the reverse. The price will be executed when the price reaches above the current level. In this case, the trader expects the price to reverse after touching said level. In this case, a trader estimates the price to go lower after visiting the resistance level.

Sell limit order


5. Buy Stop Limit

This one is quite different from the other four, as it combines the previous orders. Also, the buy-stop limit is only available in MT5, so you won't be able to use it if you use MT4. This order is used by traders who want the benefits of a limit order but also want the advantage of price moving in the expected direction.

When the price hit the buy-stop limit level, the order became a buy-limit order. But, the trade won't be executed unless the price is at the stop limit level or below. However, there is a risk of the order not being executed if the price gap is above the stop limit price.


6. Sell Stop Limit

A sell-stop limit allows you to entry while the price decreases. However, the trade won't be executed unless the price is at the stop limit price or above it. There is a risk that your order might not get executed if the price gaps down quickly. Like the buy stop limit order, sell stop limit can only be used in MT5.


Problems in MT4 and MT5

Although using pending orders ease your burden, that does not mean you won't have problems. Sometimes, your order might not be executed even though the price has hit your expected level. 

There are several answers to that problem. The most common one is the spread might be very narrow. It's not wrong to use low-spread trading, but when the price is unusually narrow, your price might miss your pending order by a fraction of pip. 

Another reason is your chart will either graph the bid or ask price. Meaning the bid on your chart might hit the pending order, but the asked price needed to hit it in for the order to be triggered.

The volatility of the market may play a role too. When a market moves fast, the price might 'skip' over orders. This might happen when a computer system does not have enough time to execute an order, so the price moves through it.

Sometimes, your order hits the price you intended in another broker but not yours. How can this happen? Well, you need to know that forex is a decentralized market. That means no central exchange sets the quote for the pair you are trading with.

The price quotes among traders can be very similar because forex is a very efficient market. However, there might be a slight difference in the quotes from various brokers. This is because arbitragers come in and close that gap when there is a big difference in the price between liquidity providers.


So Who Is the Better Platform?

So, which one is the winner of the competition between MT4 and MT5 pending orders? Answering these questions can be hard, but it all comes down to your strategy. If you only need the basic ones like stop orders and limit orders, using MT4 pending orders would be enough for you. But if you adopt a strategy that needs more flexibility in setting the pending orders, trying out MT5 can be a good choice. Either way, there's no denying that MT5 offers more types of pending orders than its predecessor. But some traders still prefer the MT4 for its familiarity and simple way of executing orders.


MetaTrader is a great system to help your trading activities. It's easy to use and multipurpose. Other reasons why you should use MetaTrader can be found here.