Wouldn’t it be too good to be true if you could simply buy a MetaTrader Expert Advisor and use it straight out of the package without having to change settings or optimise it? Well, that’s exactly what it is – too good to be true. The reality is that the default settings are unlikely to be optimised either to the existing market conditions or to your preferred parameters. This is why it is a good idea to know how to optimise MT4 EAs. After all, one of the major advantages of using MetaTrader is the ability to automate trading based on customizable strategies and EAs. So, why not make the most of the power of this tool?
To avoid costly mistakes in automated trading, the first step is to test and optimise the Expert Advisor. Here is what you need to do:
This is a multifunction window that allows you to test your trading strategies, as well as to optimise EA parameters. Once you open the Tester window (either via Main Menu, View, Strategy Tester or through the Strategy Tester button in the Standard Toolbar), you will see two tabs – Setting and Journal, although other tabs will appear as you progress through the process.
This is where you can choose the parameters for your EA, including factors like currency and initial deposit volume. You can also set the types of positions, including long, short, only long and only short. You can set each parameter by the highest or the lowest value of the said parameter. Some of these include:
The Custom parameter allows you to input custom values to optimise the EA. To set the testing parameters, you need to go to the Settings tab mentioned above and then select:
All you need to now do is click on the Start button to begin the process of testing and optimisation. A window will open that, at the bottom, shows you the progress being made. MetaTrader will run several passes, testing and optimising the EA through different inputs of the same data. However, you will need to choose the variables on which the EA will be optimised by using the Expert Properties button on the Tester Window. A new window will open when you do this, from which you need to choose the Optimisation tab. Once you have chosen the variables, click on OK for the process to proceed.
Once the process is complete, click on the Optimisation Results tab to see the final report, which includes information on each pass made during the process. You can also choose to save the report.
Reading all these steps may make it seem more complicated to optimise your MT4 EA than it actually is. The great thing about technology is that it becomes more and more user-friendly and MetaTrader know what they are doing. They will take you seamlessly through the entire process of optimisating yout EAs, although it is a good idea to know what parameters you should choose to suit your trading needs and strategy.
If you liked this educational article, please consult our Risk Disclosure Notice before starting to trade. Trading leveraged products involves a high level of risk. You may lose more than your invested capital.