Best Order Flow Trading Software

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As you begin to evaluate order flow trading software you’re going to find there’s quite a few options. Your charting software is one of the key tools in your toolbox so you need to spend some time finding what charting platform will work best for you.

The order flow software you ultimately choose will depend on what products you plan on trading as well as your trading style.

About Our Order Flow Software Reviews

I’ve been trading professionally for over 20 years and I am NOT being compensated in any manner by any of the charting software companies reviewed here.

The following reviews are truly unbiased and based on what I believe are the strengths and weaknesses of each platform.

Every platform reviewed here is a great piece of software or I wouldn’t bother reviewing them.

Although I have not traded live with every single platform reviewed, I have at minimum extensively demoed the platforms.

Order Flow Software Scoring

There’s several components we considered when reviewing the best order flow platforms. If you’re evaluating any other software not reviewed here today you’re going to want to take all of these key factors into consideration.

All components are scored on a scale of 1-5. (5 being best)

Indicators: Not every charting platform has the same trading indicators, especially when it comes to order flow. Most packages will include your basic indicators but more advanced indicators or like footprint charts, market profiles, delta, and volume profiles require a third party add-on which you will have to pay extra for.

Charting Types: Some platforms offer more advanced chart types such as footprint charts as well as different bar period types. Some of your more advanced bar periods that go beyond just time based bars are volume per bar, number of trades per bar, and range per bar to name a few.

Brokerage Integrations: In an ideal world you want your platform to directly connect to your brokers data feed.

The only downside if not having a direct connection is you want to be able to trade from your charts, something I rarely do anyways.

Pricing: Sometimes you get what you pay for but like any other business you always have to pay attention to your overhead.

Innovation & Support: Having been trading for a long time I’ve watched over the years how different charting software companies have adapted and rolled out new indicators and features. In terms of support, a large portion of this is determined by the size of the community of traders providing support not only forums but in terms of third party add ons.

Additional Components

The following are each worth 2 points if the charting platform includes the component.

  • Simulated Trading
  • Mobile Application
  • Trade from Charts
  • Free Demo
  • Works on Windows and Mac

SO…We’ve crunched the numbers… without further ado here’s how we rank the best charting software packages.

Order Flow Trading Software Reviews

1. MotiveWave Review

Screenshot of MotiveWave's Website with Review Rating

Website: http://motivewave.com/
Price: $24 – $159 Per Month + data
Total Score: 35 of 40 Points

Topping off our list for 2023 is MotiveWave. MotiveWave is highly customizable and yet still easy-to-use, and also specializes in advanced analysis tools like Elliott Wave, Fibonacci, Gartley, Gann and Ratio Analysis.

MotiveWave offers the most complete charting packages for order flow traders who are looking to trade different markets.

A huge bonus works is their software can run on several operating systems including Windows, Mac, and Linux.

I made the switch to MotiveWave about two years ago from Sierra primarily because I wanted something native to Mac.

Best For
-All Markets
-Mac Users
Pros
-Trade any Market
-Great Order Flow Suite included already. No need for add-ons.
-Huge selection of broker integrations.
Cons
-Fairly new community

MotiveWave Score Breakdown

Indicators: 5 of 5
Chart Types: 5 of 5
Broker Integrations: 5 of 5
Price: 3 of 5
Available Products: 5 of 5

Innovation & Support: 5 of 5
Free Demo: Yes
OS: Windows, Mac, Linus
SIM Trading: Yes
Trade From Charts: Yes

2. Quantower Review

Screenshot of Quantower's Website with Review Rating

Website: https://www.quantower.com/
Price: $40 – $100 Per Month + data
Score: 34 of 40 Points

Quantower is a fairly new player in the charting software industry but don’t let that fool you. It’s an extremely robust platform with a plethora of order flow trading tools and indicators.

Quantower allows a synchronous connection multiple brokers and data feeds in one single trading environment. This is absolutely brilliant, and something I imagine most software companies will incorporate down the road.

Currently only for Windows but they’re planning on releasing a Mac version soon.

Don’t be surprised if Quantower makes another jump up this list in 2023.

Best For
-All Markets
-Order Flow Traders
Pros
-Great Order Flow Suite included already. No need for add-ons.
-Very innovative
Cons
-Fairly new community

Quantower Score Breakdown

Indicators: 5 of 5
Chart Types: 5 of 5
Broker Integrations: 5 of 5
Price: 4 of 5
Available Products: 5 of 5

Innovation & Support: 5 of 5
Free Demo: Yes
OS: Windows only
SIM Trading: Yes
Trade From Charts: Yes

3. Sierra Chart Review

Screenshot of Sierra Chart's Website with Review Rating

Website: https://www.sierrachart.com/
Price: $26 – $56 Per Month + data
Score: 32 of 40 Points

Sierra Charts is one of my favorite platforms of all time. Sierra offers some of the best pricing and endless customization.

I personally used Sierra Charts for almost a decade. The platform is incredibly lightweight resulting in very little lag even during crazy volatility.

If you’re a Mac user you will either have to run Windows via Bootcamp or use Parallels.

Sierra offers a strong order flow package including footprint charts (number bars) and volume delta with their Level 5 package and up.

Best For
-All Markets
-Order Flow Traders
Pros
-Extremely lightweight and fast
-Great Order Flow Suite included already. No need for add-ons.
-Amazing pricing
-Best documentation available (their forum and youtube)
Cons
-GUI could use updating
-No live support unless provided by your broker.

Sierra Chart Score Breakdown

Indicators: 5 of 5
Chart Types: 5 of 5
Broker Integrations: 5 of 5
Price: 5 of 5
Available Products: 4 of 5

Innovation & Support: 2 of 5
Free Demo: Yes
OS: Windows only
SIM Trading: Yes
Trade From Charts: Yes

4. Ninja Trader Review

Screenshot of NinjaTrader's Website with Review Rating

Website: https://ninjatrader.com/
Price: $1099 for Lifetime License + data
Score: 28 of 40 Points

Founded in 2003, Ninja Trader has quickly become one of the most popular trading platforms especially among derivative traders.

The platform is lightweight and fast which is ideal for scalpers or day traders. It’s one of the most popular charting platforms for algorithmic trading.

Best For
-Trading futures
-Advanced traders
-Algo traders
Pros
-Extremely fast
-Well thought out DOM (depth of market) which includes volume profiles
Cons
-A lot of important indicators only comes as 3rd party add ons
-To gain the full power of the platform you have to purchase a lifetime license as they offer no monthly plans.
-Primarily for derivative traders

Ninja Trader Score Breakdown

Indicators: 2 of 5
Chart Types: 2 of 5
Broker Integrations: 5 of 5
Price: 2 of 5
Available Products: 3 of 5

Innovation & Support: 4 of 5
Free Demo: Yes
OS: Windows, Mac, Linus
SIM Trading: Yes
Trade From Charts: Yes

5. Exo Chart Review

EXO Charts Ranked 5th

Website: https://exocharts.com/
Price: $28 per month

In 5th place is Exo Charts which is a platform that focuses solely on crypto markets.

I didn’t feel it would be fair to score Exo Charts because it’s such a new product and intended for such a specific market.

Best For
-Crypto traders
Pros
-Great pricing
-Decent order flow tools for the price
Cons
-Only for Crypto
-Customer support only provided through social media

COMPLETE Day Trading Course (Beginner to Pro) - Intro

Choosing the Right Trading Software

I want to reiterate that all of the platforms reviewed here today are strong options. You simply have to pick the platform best fits your personal needs.

If you are currently trading a live account, don’t just jump ship and switch to a new platform immediately. You will have some growing pains when you make the transition to a new platform so get familiar with it first.

I used Sierra Charts for almost a decade and struggled for some time when I switched to MotiveWave simply due to the different graphics.

Remember, as a day trader you’re staring at your screen all day long every day. After a decade you get very used to something.

Most of the charting software reviewed today offer a demo version, so start testing them out.

Finally, it’s important you have a firm understanding of the market data feed options available relative to the markets you trade. Read this post to learn more.

Final Thoughts

Your order flow charting software won’t make you a profitable trader on it’s own, but it’s a step in the right direction when developing your edge. 

Make sure to take the time to extensively test a platform before making your final decision, and especially before going live.

Next you should check out our broker reviews.

Let us know your personal thoughts on any trading platforms you have experience with in the comments below!

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Adam

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11 Comments

  1. I think you should include EdgeProX in here. It’s basically MotiveWave, but cheaper. At least if you use the order flow version of MotiveWave. Do you ?

    1. Hi Marko, thanks for the comment! EdgeProX is MotiveWave, EdgeClear simply white labels the product. I’m on the Pro Version.

  2. Do I need depth of market data (level II) for an order flow chart or can I get order flow chart with top of book (level I) data?

  3. Hi Adam! Thanks for these reviews. One correction, NinjaTrader only works on Windows (or on Mac via Parallels/BootCamp/VMware Fusion). Trust me I’m on a Mac too, and emailed them and that was their response. But I’m thinking of trying out MotiveWave! Yay!

  4. Hello Adam,

    I decided to trial MotiveWave, I have to say that it has at stage been a disappointing experience. The volume based indicators you use do not appear on MotiveWave tool list. With regards to the tool list menu dropdown bar sometimes volume Delta appears in the list other times not , the program is most unstable. Today must be my lucky day because volume delta is there , but the question is for how long. The indicators that you show in your videos require input from the user , I believe that it would be very helpful if you were to produce a video explaining the correct settings for these indicators so that we can all be looking at the same thing. Nothing worse than flying blind

  5. Hi Adam,
    What is it the best quality-price option plan for MotiveWave to trade order flow strategies?. The specifications in MW website is not clear, because only different between STANDART AND ORDER FLOW PLAN is “trade copier” which I don’t know what it is.

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