MultiCharts vs NinjaTrader | Comparison review

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In this post I’ll compare two powerful and well known trading platforms on the market today: Multicharts vs NinjaTrader.

In this comparison review I’ll discuss the key functionalities and features of each platform. I’ll also compare in detail the user experience, tools, indicators, fees, customer support and broker options. In each category I’ll offer my opinion for which platform performs best and at the end of the article offer my overall opinion on which platform performs best in this Multicharts vs NinjaTrader comparison review.

MultiCharts vs NinjaTrader Key Features 

System Requirements – MultiCharts vs NinjaTrader 

Both MultiCharts and NinjaTrader are desktop based download software. Web-based access is not offered at this time with either of these plaforms. 

Multicharts

NinjaTrader

Web based

Desktop download

✔

64-bit version compatible with Windows 7,8, and 10

✔

32 and 64-bit software versions. Compatible with Windows 7,8, and 10

Mobile Application (iOs & Android)

✔

No official mobile application in the works yet. NT provides a cloud-based mobile solution to access desktop software via VPS Refer to:  ninjamobiletrader.com

Minimum PC Requirements

Processor: Dual core (2.5 GHz or higher)
RAM: Minimum of 4GB 
Memory: 2GB free space 
Operating Systems: Windows 7,8, and 10

Processor: Dual core or AMD processor at 1.5 GHz
RAM: 8 GB
Hard drive: 400 MB 
Operating Systems:
Windows 10, 8, and 7 64-bit
Windows 10, 8, and 7 32-bit

Subscription Options and Pricing – MultiCharts vs NinjaTrader 

Multicharts

NinjaTrader

Free access/download

✔

Free with select brokers (e.g. AMP Futures) 

✔

Free download with free live futures/forex market data, advanced charting and strategy back testing

Subscription Options 

MultiCharts offers two main platform versions: MultiCharts PLE and MultiCharts.NET.

Both are offered in a 4-tiered subscription plan - 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and lifetime*

NinjaTrader users enjoy no platform-related costs*
For live trading, NT platform can be either leased or purchased through lifetime subscription. More on this later. 

*this will be discussed further in the next section

Supported Instruments – MultiCharts vs NinjaTrader

Multicharts

NinjaTrader

Forex/Currencies

✔

✔

Stocks/Equity/Index

✔

✔

Futures

✔

✔

Cryptocurrency

✔

Overall Appearance of Interface and Chart

Multicharts

NinjaTrader

User Interface Design

Modern Interface is highly intuitive with a minimalist and user friendly design 

Simple layout and design which is akin to a Windows-type interface 

Chart Design

High-definition charts with full customization options to suits own personal styles and preferences. Clean, highly intuitive and dynamic Chart navigation is made easy with the convenience of a drag-and-drop tools. Can accommodate up to 20 sub charts per chart

 
Simple, clean, and fully customizable charts
( e.g. bar spacing and width)Each chart is a free-floating window which can be resized easily to fit in the workspace  Chart navigation is made easy with horizontal and vertical panning. Has chart panels that contain objects like data series, indicators, and drawing tools

Charting, Alerts, and Indicator Limits – MultiCharts vs NinjaTrader

Multicharts

NinjaTrader

Free multiple chart view/workspaces

✔

✔

Alerts

Limited number of free alerts

✔

Number of free built-in indicators 

Over 280 built-in indicators (Free)

Up to 100+ built-in indicators (Free)

Add-on Indicator Library (on top of built-in)

MultiCharts does not provide an exact count of its indicator as its library is very extensive.

MultiCharts hosts a variety of third-party companies that offer add-on indicators compatible with MC’s programming language EasyLanguage.

Library of indicators has up to 1,000+ custom-made, 3rd party add-ons using NinjaScript

Help Center / User Support 

Multicharts

NinjaTrader

Customer support hotlines 

✔

Offers direct phone lines available every Monday-Friday from 9:00AM - 5:00PM ET. Technical support available every Mon-Fri from 7:00AM to 1:00PM ET.

✔

24/5 customer support hotlines  Has a 24-hour emergency trade desk hotline and weekend technical support.

Proprietary support articles/videos

✔

Support tab consists of knowledgebase (written materials), user manuals, video tutorials, community forum, and blog 

✔

NT does this very well - offering extensive, well-written user guides as well as a support forum for free on its website. For reference, click the link.  

Availability of third party / articles and videos  published online 

✔

Has a decent amount of help articles published by independent writers; although Google results are mainly Multichart produced articles.

✔

NT’s broad customer base has help produce a good amount of independent articles are help videos.

Direct to Market Access (DMA)

Multicharts

NinjaTrader

Direct Market Access

✔

Supported data providers provide DMA services. (AMP, LMAX for Eurozone customers)

✔

Utilizes CQG/Continuum to deliver orders from PC to the exchange in a seamless fashion

Level 2 Market Data 

✔

✔

MultiCharts vs NinjaTrader: Pros and Cons

To better understand the differences between these two platforms, I will discuss some of the key features and functions of each. At the end of each section I’ll provide my opinion of which platform I believe preforms best. At the end of the article I’ll give you my opinion on which platforms performs best offer all (from my own perspective). 

Getting Started and Setup 

The first category is setup and installation. Both platforms follow a standard installation procedure where users simply download from the website. 

Both platforms’ will run on most PC’s. For more information check the “System Requirements’ section above. Both platforms can be run from Windows 7, 8, 10. Unfortunately neither platform is deigned to run on Mac OS. However it’s possible to use virtual machine software to run windows on your Mac machine.

Both platforms require a data feed to be setup before initiating any platform activities. For first time users, connecting to a data feed with NinjaTrader is definitely not as intuitive as MultiCharts. MultiCharts in general, has a much easier setup, with a manageable learning curve. 

Winner: MultiCharts – System requirements are more or less identical for both platforms. The tie breaker is the manageable learning curve that comes in setting up MultiCharts compared to the more complex NinjaTrader. Multicharts relatively easy learning curve will be a consistent feature in the following categories. 

Software vs Online Access

Unfortunately, MultiCharts and NinjaTrader runs solely on a software basis. This means that the only way to access the platform is via the installation device.

Winner: None – Unfortunately, none of the platforms in discussion offer the flexibility of having dual access via the web. This could be a concern especially for the traders wanting platform access on multiple devices. Rival platforms like TradeStation offer this flexibility with mobile access. 

Software Costs

There are two main types of costs to be discussed in this section:  platform fees and commission. These cost structures will set the two platforms apart. 

Platform Fees 

MultiCharts standard platform has a 4-tiered subscription package with prices contingent on access duration. Prices begin from $99/month to $1,497. This package includes access to the main trading platform with high-definition charts, automated trading, strategy back testing, and more. To access even more features users can choice the Advanced Strategy Pack. If you are just starting out, the standard platform option is likely just fie. Prior to finalizing payment, users can opt for a 30-day free trial. 

Multicharts Subscription options

Standard Platform

Advanced strategy pack

3 Months

$297 or $99/month

$399 or $133/month

6 Months

$497 of $82/month

$599 or $99/month

1 Year

$797 or $66/month

$999 or $83 per month 

Lifetime

$1,497 one time fee

$1,999 one time fee

NinjaTrader, on the other hand, offers a version where users can access advanced charting, strategy back testing, and trade simulation for free. However if you want some of the more advanced features like chart trading (which in my opinion is a must) you’ll need to go for either the ‘leased’ or ‘Own’ options.

For more details see NinjaTrader pricing table listed in commissions below.

NinjaTrader becomes an obvious choice for traders who only need a platform for charting and testing without trade executions and other brokerage services. 

For full features NinjaTrader comes in a little cheaper on a periodic lease basis and lifetime purchase option.

Commissions 

The beauty of MultiCharts is its range of brokerage offerings. Unlike NinjaTrader which offers its proprietary brokerage service with its own standard commissions, MultiCharts users are treated with the flexibility to choose from a large selection of brokers. With this, users have the ability to select a brokerage with competitive commissions offering various asset classes. You can view the full list of partner brokers.

To help compare MultiCharts brokers’ commissions against NinjaTrader, I’ve listed below the commission for NT brokerage in bold: 

NinjaTrader License Options

Platform Costs

Features & commissions (Futures Micro E-Mini example)

Free License

$0.00 USD/month or year 

Advanced charting, market analysis, simulated trading, live trading

Commission for NT brokerage pricing for Futures Micro E-Mini:
$0.35
+$0.37 Exchange related costs per contract per side

Lease license

$720 annual or $425 semi-annual or $225 quarterly 

All features under free plus premium feature: Trader  +
Commission for NT brokerage  pricing for Futures Micro E-Mini:
$0.25
+$0.37 Exchange related costs per contract per side

Own license

$999 one-time payment or $329 for 4 monthly installments 

All features under Lease plus premium feature: Order Flow +
Commission for NT brokerage  pricing for Futures Micro E-Mini:
$0.09
+$0.37 Exchange related costs per contract per side 

Winner: NinjaTrader – From a cost perspective, NT is definitely the cheaper option. MultiCharts doesn’t offer a free platform version unlike NInjaTrader. For both lifetime and periodic lease subscription, NinjaTrader is also the cheaper alternative with $999 with a flexible 4-month installment plan for lifetime access vs MultiCharts’s $1,497 one-time fee; Annually, NT offers $720 plan vs Multichart’s $797.

Whilst Multicharts offers the flexibility to choice from a larger selection of brokerage options. Ninjatraders commissions are renowned for being highly competitive. 

Broker Support

To promote its own brokerage, NinjaTrader has a limited broker network. Generally, the platform only supports Futures and Forex brokers, popular choices are Interactive Broker and TD Ameritrade. In contrast, MultiCharts has an extensive broker network accommodating different asset classes (Futures, Forex, Stocks). MultiCharts brokerage list continues to grow and provides the flexibility of switching brokers with ease. 

Winner: MultiCharts – With an extensive broker list, MultiCharts accommodates a wider customer base, making it easier for prospective users to make the switch.

Charting Tools

It is important to note that MultiCharts is primarily a trading and charting software. That being said, MultiCharts’s charting tool library is complete and top-tier. Users can find the common drawing tools – from trend lines to channels with the inclusion of the popular Fibonacci and Gann series. A rough count suggests over 20 drawing tools. 

NinjaTrader competes well in this area – plotting common drawing objects is fluid and smooth. NinjaTrader offers a complete suite of drawing objects from lines (trends, ray, extended) and channels to more complex tools like Fibonacci series as well as a regression channel tool. 

A really nice feature of NinjaTraders tools is being able to apply the same objects to different charts that displays the same instrument.

A rough estimation of the number of tools available with NinjaTrader suggests up to 20 tools on the platform. 

Winner: MultiCharts – The platform provides more tool variety compared to NinjaTrader. A good example is MultiCharts’s Regression series which includes up to 4 variants (NT only has 1). Also, the accessibility of the drawing toolbar located below the chart promotes easier navigation and accessibility for the user. This is in contrast to NinjaTrader which offers a drop-down menu. Keep in mind, this is a subjective assessment. Your preferences may vary. 

Charting Experience and Interface Design

Without a doubt MultiCharts has a brilliant charting experience and intuitive interface. It’s a Multi-award winner in best technical analysis and analytical software in 2010-2011, MultiCharts is a popular trading platform of many traders who are heavy in chart analysis. The charting experience is superb, jam packed with loads of features that includes: 

  • Multiple time frame analysis 
  • Multiple data series with added flexibility of different resolutions
  • Access to multiple data vendor feeds – combined in one or more sub charts
  • Add bar-specific commentaries – great for journaling 
  • Very high customization ability – from minute details (bar spacing, visual order of data series, chart panning)
  • Mobile Data Window – basically a floating window that follows the user’s cursor around the charts 

One of my favorite features is how easy the platform is to learn. Multicharts ‘Object-oriented programming’ that does away with the complexities of conventional software which creates an intuitive design that really lowers the learning curve for new users.

NinjaTrader offers an excellent charting experience. Its main offering is its highly customizable charting with a range of multi-time frame analysis. Its drawing tools and indicators suite is very impressive that can be easily added to charts. A big pitfall, however, is NinjaTrader’s complex interface design. In my experience and other readers of this blog. It can just take a bit of time to get familiar with the basic functions such as general navigation, charting and accessing data feeds.  

Winner: MultiCharts – Although advanced charting is free in NinjaTrader, MultiCharts does just an excellent job lowering the learning curve in both charting and interface navigation. If you like TradingView then you will enjoy using Multicharts (which is produced by the same developers). 

Selection of Indicators 

MultiCharts, offers a loads of indicators. Users have access to over 280 built-in indicators. Beyond the pre-built indicator library, MultiCharts has partnered with over 35 third party developers that have created add-ons such as trading strategies and technical indicators.

Similar to Tradestation, MultiChart is also compatibile with EasyLanguage, a staple, easy to use and popular programming language which makes coding indicators and strategies easier than NinjaTraders NinjaScript

Ninjatrader also has a large library of indicators although the number of pre-built indicators is less than what’s available with MultiCharts. NinjaTrader’s User App Share however offers a big library of free custom indicators developed by the NT community. There’s also a big selection of third party NT indicators available for sale via the NinjaTrader Ecosystem. Users can easily download custom indicators and upload them directly to the platform. Producing custom indicators is quite tricky with NinjaScript (NT’s programming language). Coding using Ninjascript generally require some previous programming knowledge. 

Winner: MultiCharts The selection is big and varied. EasyLanguage is an advantage for users who have little programming experience and would like to build their own studies. 

Access to Markets and Instruments 

MultiCharts has a long list of data feed providers that offer a variety of instruments – from equities to futures, forex, even cryptocurrency. Providers include popular names such as Interactive Brokers, Rithmic, CQG, TradeStation, and Bloomberg. 

A really nice feature included with MultiCharts is the platform allows for multiple live data connections simultaneously – each categorized into different tabs to keep panels organized. MultiCharts also provides level 2 market data through its Depth of Market (DOM) function. 

In contrast, NinjaTrader provides data and trading access to forex and futures while also providing data feed access only for equities, options, and cryptocurrency. NinjaTrader partners with Kinetick to provide historical and real time data feeds with level 2 data for an affordable fee. 

Winner: MultiCharts – Traders have the choice of multiple real time and historical data feeds which can be used simultaneously. A rare trading platform feature. All traders, regardless of instrument of choice, will find the appropriate data feed provider to meet their needs.

Timeframes and Chart Data Types  

Both MultiCharts and NinjaTrader support multi-timeframe analysis. From intraday (seconds, minutes, hours, daily) to longer term timeframes (weekly, monthly, yearly).

Multicharts offers the following chart data types: Candlesticks, Histogram, Renko, Time Price Opportunity (TPO), Volume Delta, Volume Profile, OHLC, Point and Figure, Kagi, Heiken Ashi, Cumulative Delta, Dots and many more.

NinjaTrader offers popular charting data types like Candlestick, OHLC, and Line. The list includes box bars, equivolume, hollow candlestick, kagi, mountain, HiLo, Open/Close, HLC, and Point and Figure. 

Winner: MultiCharts – This really depends on a traders own needs. Both platforms offer customizable timeframe selaection. They both offer a variety of charting data type selections. Multicharts selection in my opinion is more diverse.

Alerts 

Both platforms have alerts features that can be easily applied. Generally, MultiCharts allows alert applications to any studies that contain alert triggering conditions – this includes drawing, indicators, and bars. Multicharts grants the flexibility of adding alerts to a studies’ code – this represents a limitless potential in the number of studies that a user can apply alerts.

NinjaTrader users can customize alert conditions using its advanced Condition Builder. NinjaTrader also provides alert conditions on drawing tools, indicators, data series, and price movement. It also includes alerts for account and position statistics. 

It’s worth mentioning that NinjaTrader utilizes a text message notification along with the standard email and desktop. SMS-based notification – MultiCharts as of yet doesn’t offer this feature.

Winner: NinjaTrader – Both platforms offer a range of alerts features. NinjaTrader’s notification via SMS or email is a fantastic feature. 

Community

MultiCharts has a unique sense of community. Multicharts offers a community forum where users can comment and ask questions as well as share user created studies. MultiCharts also has third-party developer-traders that create add-ons for the platform. 

NinjaTrader’s community is based solely on its user forum where users log technical and programming queries. Its User App Share is also a great place to connect and share custom apps and indicators.    

Winner: MultiCharts – Neither platform offer a social sharing environment that’s becoming increasingly popular with platforms like TradingView for example. NinjaTrader’s forum topics are heavily tilted towards platform technicalities. MultiCharts, on the other hand, offers more trading specific discussion and resource sharing.

Support

NinjaTrader and MultiCharts both have excellent help centers. A key difference that distinguishes the two is that MultiCharts’s support resources consist of both written user guides (blogs, forums, articles) and a comprehensive list of video tutorials. NinjaTrader has a solid forum dedicated for NT queries and a more accessible customer hotlines (24/5 and weekend technical support). 

Winner: MultiCharts – Each platform has their unique advantages for this category. MultiCharts’s video tutorials cover nearly all the how-to’s of the platform – very helpful guide to help ease your migration to the platform. Whereas NinjaTrader offers a hotline support and comprehensive technical help in their respective forum.

Learning Curve

MultiCharts core feature is its usability and very low learning curve. Ultimately, many traders have grown a liking for the platform for its minimal complexities. NinjaTrader, on the other hand, is quite infamous for being complex for beginner traders. Its programming language (NinjaScript) also generally requires some level of programming experience. 

Winner: MultiCharts – A clear winner. Despite being a very advanced platform, MultiCharts built a platform that is highly intuitive and simple to use. It simple requires common sense to successfully navigate for the most part. Its definitely one of the easier trading platforms to learn, many platforms require at least weeks to months to simply grasp the functions of the platform.

 MultiCharts vs NinjaTrader – My Final Thoughts

These are both fantastic pieces of trading software. I’ll been a big user of NinjaTrader over the years and recently tried out Multicharts as an alternative futures trading platform.

In this MultiCharts vs NinjaTrader comparison review, its always good to give my opinion on which platform I like better. In this case I have to give the win to Multicharts. I’m a big fan of TradingView. Whose developers have also produced Multicharts. They really have done a great job developing a really professional style platform that inituitive and simple to use but still offer all the functionality and power of a complex trading platform solution.

If you struggle to learn new software but looking for a change that offers all the features you need. Maybe try giving Multicharts a go!

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