How to get 99% Simulation Quality in the Metatrader 4 Strategy Tester
Hello ladies and gentlemen, Forex traders!
Anyone who has ever done a backtest of advisors in MT4 noticed that the quality of the simulation does not rise above 90%. The reason is that by default the terminal uses minute bars instead of tick data. And if the adviser scalps (take profit 3-15 points) or uses a small trailing stop, the difference in the quality of the simulation can greatly change the test result. In today's article, we will learn how to get Simulation Quality 99% in the MetaTrader 4 Strategy Tester.
Backtest of the same expert with the same settings for the year
1. Modeling Quality 90%:
2. Modeling Quality 99%:
The difference of 2000 points is obvious.
To get a similar result, you can use 3 methods:
- Described below, implies the use of the Tick Data Suite program (trial version for a week, then the program asks for money)
- Take advantage of the alternative with Tickstory Lite. The program, unfortunately, has also recently become paid.
- Or apply another way (using StrategyQuant Tick Data Downloader), where all the programs used are currently free.
The methods are different, the end goal is the same.
Install and configure Tick Data Suite
To get a trial version of the program, go and register here. You can use the 10minutemail temporary mail service in order not to receive spam later on your main mailbox. You will receive a registration key in your mail, which will need to be specified during the installation of the program.
Here we download the latest version of the program and install it on the computer. The free trial period is 2 weeks, which is quite enough to test the capabilities of the program. During installation, you do not need to specify the directory of a specific terminal, the program finds the terminals installed on the computer automatically.
After starting Tick Data Manager, you will see something like this window. At the very top is a button for selecting the source of quotes - Dukascopy or TrueFX (the list will be replenished in future releases). Dukascopy provides a high-quality tick history from 2003 to the present day and, by the way, is a liquidity provider for Alpari's ECN accounts. TrueFX has only had a history since 2009.
The workspace is divided into three parts:
- List of available tools and data on already downloaded history;
- Operations log;
- Download Manager. Downloading history creates a new task. You can freely control the priority of tasks using the buttons above / below. Also, you can pause the task by clicking on the pause, and delete the task by clicking on “-”.
All you need to load data by symbol is to click on the last button on the right side of the line. You can adjust the download parameters by clicking on the button with three dots.
In the main settings of the program, you can specify additional parameters for preliminary data preparation.
- “Manual Dukascopy import ...” - Manual history import. To overwrite existing data, select the “Overwrite existing data” checkbox;
- “Data repository re-scan” - rescan the entire database in case of damage or error. It will be useful in case of manual editing of the story;
- The “Open data folder” button opens the directory where history data is stored;
- An important function is an additional level of compression. Data from the Dukascopy server is already downloaded in compressed form, the program also allows you to reduce the file size by up to 50%. Useful in case of limited free disk space;
- At the very bottom there is a function responsible for filtering non-market quotes or price peaks as a percentage of the price. You can uncheck to use the data “as is”.
The program is embedded directly in the interface of the strategy tester, so managing its work is extremely simple. To activate tick history, specify the tick testing mode and check the “Use tick data” box. If the tick story is uploaded, you can start testing!
The “Tick data settings” button opens the advanced test settings window. Here you can adjust the time zone of quotes and the method of switching to daylight saving time (1), new history files will be generated from existing tick data. A little lower are the checkboxes responsible for enabling the floating spread (“Use variable spread”) and enabling random slippage (“Enable slippage” - Enable slippage). The “Defaults” button allows you to transfer the parameters of the current account (2).
Here you can specify the parameters of the maximum and minimum floating spread.
Dynamic slippage can be turned on / off for certain types of orders, such as limit / stop orders, take profit and stop loss. Also, you can specify both fixed slippage and dynamic slippage, indicating the probabilistic advantage.
On the “Advanced” tab, you can override the basic settings of the account, such as leverage, lot size and step, as well as the amount of commission charged from transactions.
On the “Expert” tab, there are settings directly related to trading and opening deals. To override any of the parameters - just check the box and enter the desired value in the adjacent field.
Margin accounting method settings. In most cases, nothing needs to be changed here.
Basic program settings. The first checkmark includes using FXT files to speed up the optimization process. In general, you can leave the default settings.
After starting, the tester generates HST files if the test parameters were changed after the previous pass. After generation, the testing of the adviser begins directly. In general, the process is similar to how the tester downloads the missing story.
The simulation quality is 99%.
P.S. I want to note that even 99% of the backtest can not give the result that was in reality, so you should not rely entirely on the strategy tester. Nothing can replace the test in real time on a real account.