Best Paper Trading Platforms of 2024

In this guide, we go over r the best paper trading platforms. We base our analysis on a variety of factors such as fees, commissions, tools, security, regulation, and more.

Top Paper Trading Brokers in 2024

Here is a list of our favorite trading platforms that offer paper trading. For this list, we considered a few factors. These include the similarity to live trading, the educational content, and how user-friendly it is.   

This is our selection of practice trading accounts…

  • eToro – Best Overall
  • AvaTrade – Best for CFD Paper Trading
  • Interactive Brokers – Best US Paper Trading Platform
  • e*Trade
  • TD Ameritrade (thinkorswim)
  • WeBull Paper Trading
  • TradeStation
  • Nvstr
  • Bear Bull Traders
  • Warrior Trading
  • Ninja Trader


eToro was founded in 2007. It is highly regulated and a safe option for trading forex and CFDs. eToro is a great option for social copy trading and cryptocurrency. They have a great user-friendly web-based platform and mobile app. eToro is ideal for beginners and casual investors.

Read Full Review

etoro logo
Stock tradingA fee charged for inactive accounts
Easy account openingOnly one account base currency
A vast amount of educational contentCustomer support 
Open Account

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. {etoroCFDrisk}% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs, only real Crypto assets available.


e*Trade is a grandfather platform that has stood the test of time. They have a reputation for having an easy-to-use platform with remarkable customer service. 

What makes e*Trade great is that they no longer charge commissions on online stock, options trade, and ETFs. 

They offer both a web-based platform and a mobile app. eTrade starts with a $100,000 trading equity which is more than enough to play around with. 

e-trade logo
No commission fees chargedFocused on active traders
Easy-to-use trading platform
Low minimum deposits 

TD Ameritrade (thinkorswim)

TD Ameritrade is known as being a platform that offers a rich selection of trading features. They offer tons of charting and scanning tools. 

This is ideal for active, serious traders. 

TD Ameritrade has a web-based and mobile platform. Their mobile app, called thinkorswim, is easy-to-use and has excellent tech support. 

Like most, thinkorswim offers a simulation account at $100,000. This is over enough virtual currency to have some fun and learn.

TD Ameritrade Logo
Commission-free stock, options trading, and ETFDoes not offer fractional shares
Free research
Amazing trading platform
Great customer support


Webull was founded in 2017 and is relatively new to the stock exchange world. This platform is a good choice if you’re an advanced trader because Webull offers extensive trading features. Webull offers in-depth charting and numerous technical indicators. 

Their platform is user-friendly and customizable which makes it a good option for newbie traders. What is great is that they offer $1 million to start trading which is more than enough to get a feel of the trading exchange. 

WeBull Logo
A vast amount of trading toolsDo not offer mutual funds
Offer cryptocurrency tradingBarebones educational content 
Easy-to-use platform


TradeStation was founded in 1982 and is a US-based stockbroker. Like the other trading platforms on this list, TradeStation is a highly regulated broker. They are a tried and trusted brand with a long track record. 

TradeStation offers a desktop and mobile platform with amazing features like advanced orders and a variety of asset types. 

What makes TradeStation great is that their paper accounts have access to the historical market databases. This can help you develop and test trading strategies.

Tradestation Logo
Low fees for stock and ETFNot user-friendly
Amazing educational tools and contentDo not offer forex trading
Bad customer service


Nvstr was founded in 2015. Their platforms are available online and on Android and iOS mobile devices. The interface is unique and reminded us of the mobile Facebook interface. Nvstr lets you manage your profile and has a feature that suggests ETFs or stocks that you could buy or sell to keep your profile balanced. 

Nvstr offers a paper trading account that you can use to experience their platform without the risk of losing your money. 

Nvstr Logo
20 free trades each monthCharge $4 monthly subscription fee
Zero account minimum feesDo not offer fractional investing

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is a global trading platform. They offer web, desktop, and mobile platforms which gives you the freedom to choose one that suits your lifestyle. 

Interactive Brokers also offers a proprietary IB SmartRouting system that can provide a share price of around $0.47 per 100 shares which is an improvement on industry standards. 

Interactive Brokers offers equity of $1 million in virtual funds. 

Interactive Brokers Logo
A range of asset classes offeredInactive accounts can generate substantial fees
Smart order routerStreaming data only runs on a single device at a time
The mutual fund replicator is less expensive than ETFs

Bear Bull Traders Simulator

Bear Bull is a brokerage platform that focuses on day trading education. A key part of this is the real-time simulation offered on the DAS Trader Pro platform. 

Bear Bulls offers training and support for beginners. Their interface is also simple and user-friendly. They have included hotkeys and configured their layouts for a quick and easy jumpstart. 

The platform has numerous resources that can help you customize your setup to suit your needs and wants. 

When you’re ready to go live, you can continue using the DAS Trader Pro platform. This makes for a seamless transition from paper trading to live trading. 

Bear Bull Traders Logo
Affordable subscription plansMonthly subscribers are not given access to educational webinars and psychology training
Amazing educational content and support
Helpful trading community
Offers daily watchlists and scanner live streams

Warrior Trading

Warrior trading is a great platform for both newbies and advanced traders. They are accredited by the Better Business Bureau where they received an impressive A+ rating. 

Like Bear Bull Trading, Warrior trading offers extensive educational content such as courses, resources, and active community support. Warrior trading’s platform is a result of direct collaboration with NYSE and NASDAQ. This gives you access to level 2 quotes. Their platform is designed to be as close to live trading as possible. This includes working in real-time conditions. 

When starting your account, Warrior trading offers you $200,000 of virtual currency which is more than enough to help you find your feet. 

Warrior Trading Logo
An amazing array of educational contentDo not focus on long-term trend trading strategies
Offers structured trading methodsEducational content is expensive when compared to the free options available
Trader mentoring

NinjaTrader Free Trading Simulator

NinjaTrader was launched in 2003. They run as a fee-based system which is common for broker platforms. 

What makes NinjaTrader great is that their platform is free for all users. 

The trading platform focuses heavily on education. The platform sports all the features of its live trading platform. 

Their research and stock charting tools are interactive. This lets you pinpoint locations on a stock chart that you want to execute trades on from the same screen. 

What makes NinjaTrade’s platform great is that the charting also offers backtesting which lets you trade during various periods. 

Ninja Trader Logo
Amazing tools for analysisOnly offers trade derivatives like futures and options trading
Free to download and use trading platform
Good educational content

Paper Trading Explained

Paper trading uses demo or practice accounts to let you trade options, futures, or stocks with virtual money (not to be confused with digital currency). By using virtual trading, you can familiarize yourself with the platform's exchange without having to risk real money. 

Virtual trading aims to let new users or beginners practice different kinds of asset trading without putting themselves at risk. If you’re an experienced trader looking to diversify your portfolio, it can help you get a feel for different asset exchanges. 

Virtual Trading vs Live Trading

Virtual trading or a stock market simulator gives you a sense of security when practicing trades or getting to know a new platform. They use real-time information to test the success or failure of your practice trades. This lets you test out trading strategies and building portfolios. 

Most offer demo accounts that looks and feels just like the real thing. 

The only difference is that with live trading, you are putting your own money or assets at risk with the hope of making a profit. With paper trading, there is none of the risk or reward because it is a simulation account. In simple terms, think of it as test driving a new car and live trading as buying a new car. 

Account Routing and Fills ETC.

When an order is put in for trade it goes to the exchange where it is matched with another trader and the trade is carried out. If you are selling stock you will need to be matched with someone interested in the same stock. 

The process of moving an order to the exchange is known as routing. 

Routing doesn’t happen with paper trading because it’s not a real trade. With live trading, issues can happen when routing your order. Machines could crash and prevent your order from getting where it needs to be. 

In live trading, routing issues like system crashes can occur but it is rare. This is important to keep in mind when doing paper trades. 

The experiences you have when paper trading might not be the same as when live trading so keep this in mind.  

Emotions and Psychology

It lets you practice trading without having to worry about losing money. This security might cause you to trade more freely than you would once you start live trading. You should keep in mind that it does not account for your emotional investment in your stocks or how losses could affect you mentally. 

Trading with a live account might be a different experience because you stand the risk of losing money. This can affect your trading strategy and the kind of risks you are prepared to take. 


While a valuable educational tool, has some limitations. Here are the key limitations:

  • Commissions and Slippage: Depending on the platform you choose, live trading can come with commissions and slippages. A stock that might cost $20 in paper trades could be $20.50 in real trades. 
  • Formfitting: Paper traders handpick perfect entries and exits, often bypassing all the obstacles you might face in the real-life computer-driven environment. These obstacles become all too clear in real trading when traders risk seeing sound positions evaporate because an algorithm has shifted. 
  • Market Correlation: Another limitation is that it does not account for the broad market’s impact on individual securities. So, while the results of trade could look terrible or amazing in theory, the conditions that created the results of the trade might have nothing to do with your position. These conditions could be because of the larger market activities. 

Pros and Cons

Much like live trading, paper trading comes with its own set of pros and cons.


  • Amazing learning tool: It is a great educational resource that you can use to learn about trading. It prepares you for real trades and acts as a simulator for live trading. This is great if you’re a beginner and want to get a feel for trading without risking your funds. 
  • Zero risks: You can experience trading, buying, and selling securities using a trading platform of your choice without risking your own money. It lets you test out new trading strategies against real-time data without running the risk of making a loss. You can test limitations, and different instruments whether they are worth it or not. 
  • Take your time: With paper trading, there is no rush. You can take as much time and effort you need researching market trends and trade strategies. To make the most of this tool, you should act as though the trades are real. Make decisions as though it could result in a loss. This will help you get into the right mindset when you start live trading. 


  • No profits or gains: The major benefit is that you cannot lose money. On the flip side, the major downside is that you can’t make any gains or profit. Because it is a simulation, none of the trades you make occur so keep this in mind. At its essence, it is a learning tool. 
  • Cannot accurately provide a real-life experience: This is a key limitation. While most platforms try to have their demo accounts be as closely related to live trades, there are some things it does not account for. It does not give you a clear view of commissions and fees. When shifting to live trades you might discover some hidden fees. This is something to keep in mind. Our advice is to make sure you do your research. 

Stock Simulators

Here are some good stock simulators you can use to practice your trading skills.

MarketWatch’s Virtual Stock Exchange

MarketWatch’s virtual stock exchange is a popular trading simulator. This game lets you place pretend trades in real-time and with real market conditions. MarketWatch is not limited to stocks alone. You can practice trading options and other instruments. For those with a competitive streak, MarketWatch also has a leaderboard so you can see how you compare with other traders. 

Investopedia’s Stock Simulator

When starting, Investopedia gives you $100,000 in virtual funds that you can use to invest in stocks and options trading. 

While not as extensive as MarketWatch, Investopedia’s Stock Simulator does offer tutorials and a ton of educational content. They also offer extensive educational research. 

This stock simulator is focused on education and is ideal for beginners. 

How to Pick a Virtual Trading Account

Here are some things to consider when picking a paper trading account:

Similar to real accounts

How similar is it to the live trading account offered? Do they share similar features? 

These are questions you should ask yourself when picking out a virtual trading platform. Ideally, you would want it to be as similar to a real account as possible. This will help you familiarize yourself with the platform and make the transition from paper account to live account smoother. 

Real-time data

Something to consider is whether the platform offers real-time data. Having this available helps develop trading strategies. It also helps you decide what to trade and when. Having real-time data available is invaluable, especially for beginners who are learning. 

Securities available

You should also check whether the platform offers securities you want to trade. While this is not as important if you’re going to be using a paper trading account, this is important if you decide to go live. Ideally, you should choose a platform with a broker that you would want to use for live trading. This way you can familiarize yourself with the platform you want to use. 

It is also important to check out the features, fees, and securities of the live account and make sure it suits your needs. 

Research and tools available

The research and tools available on the platform are important. If you’re a beginner, you should choose a platform with a variety of tools and research so that you can improve your trading knowledge. 

Having research and tools available helps you develop trading strategies and decide which instruments to invest in. 

Best Forex Paper Trading Platform

If you are looking to focus on Forex, we recommend the AvaTrade platform if you are outside of the US, and Interactive Brokers if you live in the US. 

AvaTrade is a global trusted brand. They are known for their extensive trading platform options that include web-based, desktop, and mobile options. AvaTrade offers both spot forex and forex options. They also have large asset classes for CFDs.

Interactive Brokers is also available globally. They offer the same array of trading platform options as AvaTrade. Much like AvaTrade, Interactive Brokers also offers a proprietary trade system. 

Best for Options Paper Trading

If you are looking to specialize in options trading we recommend the IQ option platform if you are outside of the US, and the Interactive Brokers for those living in the US. 

IQ Options offers a user-friendly, proprietary trading platform. It can be used for binary options trading and CFDs. 

Their platform offers large charting tools that help you monitor the conditions of markets. It also offers margin trading with certain instruments.

As mentioned, Interactive Brokers also has a proprietary trading platform. With this platform, you could have a share price of $0.47 per 100 shares which is an improvement on the market standard.

Interactive Brokers offers more instruments than IQ option so if you want to expand and diversify your portfolio this is something to keep in mind. 


Which is the best paper trading site?

This depends on your goals. Ask yourself what you want to achieve out of using a platform. You could list your goals and then look at some trading platforms that offer paper trading and see whether they meet your goals. We do advise you to choose a trading platform with a broker that you want to use for live trading as well since you’ll be used to the platform.

Can you Make Money With a Virtual Trading Account?

Paper trading is a simulated account that uses virtual currency to make fake trades. The gains and losses you make are only simulations of what could happen in live trading. 

About the author

Ziga Breznik is the owner and head of research at – he is an active investor in the forex, crypto and stock markets – he has seen trading platforms disappear along with his investments – especially during the “crypto boom”. Ziga learned the hard way that finding a reputable and trustworthy online brokerage is key to long-term success in the financial markets. He founded as a platform where he shares his research with one goal in mind: to provide unbiased and trustworthy online brokers reviews.