Which is Better: TradeStation or NinjaTrader?

NinjaTrader and TradeStation are two of the most popular futures, FX, and stock trading platforms. Let’s evaluate how these platforms stack up against one another by looking at how they perform on certain major platform features, such as:

  • System specifications
  • Subscription options/pricing
  • Instruments supported
  • Overall interface/charts appearance
  • Charting, Alerts, and Indicator
  • Help center/user assistance
  • Direct market access (DMA)
NinjaTrader versus TradeStation: System Requirements and Accessibility

NinjaTrader may only be downloaded as desktop software. TradeStation is available as a desktop application, a web browser, or a mobile app. Each platform has its own set of prerequisites for installation.

Pros and Cons: TradeStation vs. NinjaTrader

Let’s look at a few more things to consider when comparing TradeStation with NinjaTrader. In this section, I’ll go through how to get started with the platform, costs, brokerage support, etc. Each platform will be detailed separately and then compared to one another. I choose a winner for that category at the end of each section.

Setup and Getting Started

Both TradeStation and NinjaTrader are mostly desktop programs.

Both platforms are simple to set up and install. However, NinjaTrader has fewer system requirements than TradeStation, notably RAM and operating system.

NinjaTrader and TradeStation, like many other platforms, have their own set of setup and onboarding oddities. These concern the ease with which layouts may be created and the familiarity with the interface.

New users will generally need some basic lessons to get acquainted with the platform. Neither platform is user-friendly. Both TradeStation and NinjaTrader, on the other hand, feature good getting started videos and tech assistance that can help shorten the learning curve.

TradeStation vs. NinjaTrader Winner: This is a tie in terms of getting started. NinjaTrader takes the lead in setup and installation, with only 2 GB of RAM and Windows 7 as minimum requirements. In comparison, TradeStation requires 8 GB of RAM and Windows 8 as a minimum.

Broker Support

TradeStation is a top-tier broker-dealer with a wide range of asset types. TradeStation does not have a broker network and solely supports its services as a brokerage. However, in 2019, TradeStation announced an API link with TradingView. This functionality is primarily for TradingView clients who want to use TradeStation’s trade execution capabilities.

NinjaTrader, on the other hand, works with a small number of brokers, including its own proprietary brokerage. Futures and Forex brokers are supported on the platform; notable options include Interactive Broker and Ameritrade. Click the link for a complete list of NinjaTrader brokerage alternatives.

TradeStation vs. NinjaTrader Winner: NinjaTrader. The technology allows for greater flexibility in the brokerage network. This caters to a broader client base, as NinjaTrader allows for connectivity with existing brokerage accounts, such as Interactive Brokers or TD Ameritrade.

Chart Data Types and Timeframes

Both TradeStation and NinjaTrader offer extremely customized multi-timeframe analysis. Users can choose from intraday timescales (seconds, minutes, hours, and days) to longer durations (weeks, months, and years) (weekly, monthly, yearly). Data feeds also provide tick and volume statistics.

The popular OHLC, Candlestick, and line chart formats are available in NinjaTrader. On the list are:

  • Box Bars
  • Equivolume
  • Hollow Candlestick
  • Kagi line
  • Mountain
  • HLC
  • HiLo
  • Open/Close
  • Point and Figure

TradeStation has the popular bar, line, and candlestick charts that include:

  • Kagi
  • Kase Bar
  • Like Break
  • Kagi line
  • Momentum Bar
  • Point and Figure
  • Range Bar
  • Renko
Setting up Alerts

Simple inputs and clicks on the custom alerts dialog can create alerts. Users of NinjaTrader can define conditions for alerts based on drawing tools, indicator price movement, account and position statistics, and data series.

There are no restrictions on the number of alerts that can be set, and users can choose from various notification options (through email, desktop, and text message notifications).

Similarly, TradeStation provides notifications for analysis approaches like drawing objects and indicators. Alerts cannot be applied to strategies.

TradeStation vs. NinjaTrader Winner: NinjaTrader. Even though both platforms provide free notifications, NinjaTrader’s alerts can be applied to strategies. Through its Share Services, NinjaTrader also provides text message alerts. This allows customers the freedom and assurance to go offline while still receiving notifications when activated.

Recommended Broker: NinjaTrader

The price is one of the main reasons most beginning traders choose Ninja Trader. You don’t need any extra expenses if you’ve already spent thousands of dollars to start day trading. NinjaTrader’s unique chart trader tools, particularly the ability to mimic in a live market setting, are priceless.

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