Author: Eduardo Montero
Last Updated on December 4, 2023
In recent times, especially due to increased competence, the trading rules of prop trading firms have become more and more flexible and easier to comply with, both in terms of passing the challenge or evaluation phase and in terms of managing a funded account. The trend seems clear to continue in this process of simplification, although one of the points that is still being resisted is precisely the use of EAs or Expert Advisors or, in other words, the use of automatic trading systems to execute trading operations.
It is still common to find proprietary trading firms that deny the use of these algorithmic systems. For the prop firms that allow EAs, some impose many restrictions on the type of EAs that the trader can use, others require manual approval of the EA you want to use and others are not very transparent about their policy on the use of Expert Advisors and you may get an unpleasant surprise if you use one and find that your account is cancelled for this reason.
In the following comparison table you can see what I consider the best prop firms that allow EAs and next to their main features you can quickly see what type of EAs they allow or restrict so you can find the one that best fits with your strategy:
Which are the best prop firms that allow the use of EAs?
|Prop Firm||Initial Balance||Expert Advisors Rules|
| 50k balance for $289 |
100k balance for $489
200k balance for $939
300k balance for $1,399
400k balance for $1,869
Prices for Royal Challenge (More programs available)
|This is the TFT‘s policy on the use of EAs depending on the type of challenge: |
Standard Challenge: EAs allowed by purchasing Add-on.
Rapid Challenge: EAs not allowed.
Royal Challenge: EAs allowed.
Knight’s Challenge: EAs allowed.
You can use expert advisors in any of the challenge types that allow it as long as they are not HFT (high-frequency trading) EAs. Be careful if you use third party or publicly available EAs: the parameters of your EA must be unique as, if they are not, the TFT systems might understand that you do copy operations and this is not allowed.More info at https://thefundedtraderprogram.com
| 50k bp for |
100k bp for
150k bp for
|Topstep allows the use of EAs (Expert Advisors) in any of its futures funded accounts. |
According to Topstep’s rules it is not allowed to use any EA or software whose purpose is to abuse, manipulate or provide an unfair advantage such as high frequency trading, simultaneous entry into opposite positions, accounts connected or maintained by third parties,…More info at https://www.topstep.com
| 25k balance for $228 |
50k balance for $338
100k balance for $588
250k balance for $988
Prices for E8 Accounts
(More programs available).
|With E8 Funding you are free to use Algo, EAs, Bots and Indicators. |
There is no limitation to your trading style as long as the strategy is unique (not an exact copy of other traders trading with this prop firm) and no HFT (high frequency EAs) and/or abuse of the market feed.More info at https://e8funding.com
| $3,500 balance for $200 |
$10,000 balance for $550
$15,000 balance for $750
$22,500 balance for $1200
Scaling plan up to $5,760,000
|FTUK allows the use of any EA for trading or risk management purposes as long as it is not based on these prohibited uses: |
Hedge arbitrage trading.
Reverse arbitrage trading.
Latency arbitrage trading.More info at https://www.ftuk.com
|10k balance for $99 |
20k balance for $179
50k balance for $399
100k balance for $999
Scaling plan up to $5,000,000
|The Trading Pit allows you to trade using any type of EA except the following activities which are not allowed: |
Latency arbitrage trading.
Reverse arbitrage trading.
Hedge arbitrage trading.
Copying third party trades.More info at https://www.thetradingpit.com
Let’s see the most relevant features of these prop trading firms:
I hope you find the above comparison table useful to find your prop trading firm for use with expert advisors. Here is some more information for you:
How to Choose the Best Prop Trading Firms for EAs?
Choosing the right proprietary trading firm requires a bit of research. You should evaluate the firm’s reputation, the experience its users are having, and its track record in the industry. Make sure you understand all the trading rules, especially as they affect the use of EAs, and ask them any questions you have.
Prop firms can provide you with the capital you need to trade and executing your trades automatically with an expert advisor, either to pass the challenge or when trading with their capital in a funded account, can be the most appropriate way to improve performance, manage risk properly and maximise profits by identifying the best profitable trading opportunities and not miss them by entering the market automatically.
Using EAs when trading with your prop firm can also allow you to better diversify your strategy by trading multiple financial instruments simultaneously. Note that there are prop trading firms that specialise in certain instruments such as the following:
Many of them allow EAs although I recommend that you check their respective websites for policies and restrictions on the use of these trading bots.
What is an EA?
An Expert Advisor (EA) is a software program that allows you to automate market analysis and automatically execute entry and exit trades based on a set of predefined parameters.
For example, a Forex EA can be programmed and installed on the trading platform you use with your prop firm (e.g. MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader,…) and it is responsible for studying the currency market in real time using even different time frames to carry out all kinds of strategies, whether they are short term such as scalping or longer term such as swing trading.
In addition, EAs allow to a large extent emotional and psychological factors to be eliminated when making trading decisions. Because the software will only scrupulously follow a set of pre-defined rules, market entries and exits will not be affected by feelings such as greed or fear, which in many cases have a huge impact when trading manually.
If you are not satisfied with the results of your EA, you can always reprogram its parameters, do backtesting, study its performance with other instruments,…
Pros of using Prop Firms that enable EAs
- Emotions are taken out of trading.
- You do not put your capital at risk by trading with the money of the prop firm that allows EAs.
- You don’t need to keep an eye on the market all the time.
- You don’t need to use high leverage to trade with an appropriately sized account.
Cons of using Prop Firms that allow EAs
- Some proprietary trading firms have complex trading rules and you should make sure that your EA will not breach any of them as this may result in the cancellation of your account.
- Prop firms that impose restrictions on the use of EAs are common. There are some that directly prohibit their use, others require prior approval of the EA you are going to use, others apply restrictions on strategies such as high frequency trading, tick scalping, copy trading, arbitrage trading, hedging,…
Make sure you know what the rules are on the use of EAs in the prop trading firm you are going to work with so that you don’t get any unpleasant surprises.
On this page: Prop Firms Discounts you can find discount coupons and promotions from the main funded trading firms (like for example this promo code of The Funded Trader) and here you have a comparison of companies sorted by price: Cheapest Prop Trading Firms.
I hope the information on this page will help you.