Aniket Kale Trader & Financial Engineer at Marketcalls plus a B Tech graduate in Computer Science. Interested in Trading Software, Building Trading Systems, Automated Trading & Volume Price Analysis

Virtual Trading with NinjaTrader 8

4 min read

Virtual trading provides an opportunity for traders to test their strategies and market analysis to see how trades might have played out. While live, real-time market data is often used for paper trading, it is conducted in a simulated account so there is zero monetary risk. In this article, we will see how to use the virtual trading functionality of Ninjatrader 8 with manual trading.

Pre-requisite: Ninjatrader 8 installed with live data feed.

Step 1: Opening the chart window

In the control center, go to New -> Chart. A window called “Data Series” will open. Select the instrument you want to paper trade, select the time frame of your chart, in the Trading hours select NSE or MCX according to your selected instrument.

Data series window

I am selecting NIFTY-I (continuous futures contract). A chart window with NIFTY_I will open. Now, there are two ways to send paper trading orders for NIFTY_I:

  1. By turning on the chart trader
  2. By opening a new window called “Basic Entry” from the Control Center

Step 2: Chart Trader

In the Chart window where currently NIFTY_I is opened, on the Menu bar, the 7th icon would look something like this,

Chart trader icon

Click on that icon and select “Chart Trader”

Selecting chart trader

A side panel like the following will open

Chart trader side panel

In the side panel, you can place Buy/Sell at Market price, Buy/Sell at Bid price, and Buy/Sell at Ask Price. Make sure the account selected is “Sim101”. You can place any kind of order from the above-mentioned types.

Step 3: Placing orders via Chart trader

After turning on the chart trader, there are two ways to place orders.

  1. Using the chart trader side panel
  2. Directly from the chart.

Placing orders from the side panel:

Side panel

I will be placing a “Buy Mkt”( Buy at market price) order. Before clicking the “Buy Mkt” button, make sure that the account selected is Sim101 and the quantity is also as per your requirement. I am taking 2 lots of NIFTY_I.

Now comes the advanced steps. After entering the long trade on hitting the “Buy Mkt” button, if you want to manually close your open order then no worries, you can enter the trade right away without setting any more values by clicking the “Buy Mkt” button. But if you want to add stoploss and target(s) along with your entry order, there are some parameters you need to set before you hit the “Buy Mkt” button.

ATM Strategy set to Custom

As shown in the above image, you have to set the “ATM Strategy” option to Custom. After that a window called “Custom Strategy Parameters” will open.

Custom Strategy Parameters

First of all you need to set “Parameter type” to Ticks. I am using Global Datafeeds’ data feed and their minimum tick size is according to Indian Markets is ₹0.05 or 5 paisa. Therefore, any stoploss or target value I will set, will be in terms of number of ticks.

I have set 2 targets for my trade. One will be closed at 200 ticks profit, meaning 200*0.05 = 10 points from the entry price and other will be closed at 300 ticks i.e 15 points from the entry price. At first target, I will be closing 75 of my total 150 quantity and will wait for Target 2 to close the remaining 75 quantity. Similarly, for stoploss I have kept for the entire quantity to be 100 ticks, which is 5 points from the entry price. If you want to add more targets you can do so by clicking the “add” button below the “Target 2” section. Moreover, if you want additional instructions like “Reverse at stop” or “Reverse at target” or “Target chase” you can enable those options as well. I don’t want any of those options enabled so I will keep them unchecked. After setting up everything, click OK and you are ready to finally click the “Buy Mkt” button to enter a long trade.

Please note that once you have selected the “ATM Strategy” option to be “Custom”, for any kind of entry trade placed via Chart trader be it from the side panel or directly from the chart, it will automatically adopt the settings from the “Custom Strategy Parameters” which we just set for our NIFTY_I trade with 2 targets and one stoploss.

Placing orders directly from chart:

This method is very easy and intuitive. Take your crosshair or mouse pointer to a price you want to place order and just right click. It will look like this,

Trade from chart

You can directly select from the list the type of order you want to place. I am selecting Sell Stop Market 150@ 12009.85. The point to notice here is that even while chart trading it automatically asked for 150 quantity. This is because in the side panel we set the quantity to 150 and it is taking quantity directly from there. Also, as long as the ATM Strategy is selected to Custom, any kind of entry trade even from chart, will also follow the same rules we defined.

Step 4: Placing Orders from “Basic Entry” window

This method works just like Chart Trader’s side panel. The difference is that, in the side panel “Instrument” is fixed while in “Basic Entry” window you can even change the “Instrument”. To open the “Basic Entry” window, go to Control Center, in the menu bar click New > Basic Entry.

Opening Basic Entry

A window titled Basic Entry will open.

Basic Entry window

The difference between “Chart Trader” side panel and “Basic Entry” window is that, in the side panel “Instrument” is fixed while in “Basic Entry” window you can even change the “Instrument”. Also, there are some extra order types like SL limit and SL market.

Rest of the functioning is exactly the same as Chart trader side panel.

Step 5: Order modification

There are two ways to modify the pending orders.

  1. Directly from the charts
  2. From the “Orders” tab in the “Control Center”

Modifying the order directly from the charts:

Once you are in the trade, your chart will look like this:

Chart window

The pale orange coloured line is the entry price line. I have just entered a long trade in NIFTY_I with 150 quantity, two targets and a stoploss. Now if you want to change price of any of the pending orders that you see on the chart, simply click on the line, then move your mouse pointer to a price to where you want to modify and click again. This is a true chart trading experience.

Note: Currently in India only Interactive Brokers support full integration with NT8 where you can use this functionality to live trade directly from NT8.

Modifying the order from Order tab:

Go to the Orders tab in the “Control Center”, it will look like this:


Right click on the open orders and select the appropriate options for your desired changes. The options here are a little clumsy to understand. Modification from chart is a better and efficient approach.

Step 6:  Account Management

You can maintain as many Virtual trading accounts as you want. I am using 2 accounts. One for NSE and one for MCX. To add a virtual account, go to “Control Center” at the bottom of the window if you don’t see a tab names “Accounts”, click on “+” and select “Accounts” option.

Adding “Accounts”

The account window will look like this:

Accounts window

Now to add a new simulation account, right click on the empty space in the accounts window and select “Add simulation account”. When you do that, a configuration window will open where you have to set the name, currency, starting amount and commissions.

Account configuration

After setting everything, click on OK and your new account is ready.

Step 7: Resetting the account.

To reset the account and start fresh, go to Accounts tab in “Control Center”, right click on the account you want to reset and click “Edit account”. A window titled “Account” will open.

Account reset

Here, in this window, click on reset and then click OK and your account is reset so that you get a fresh start.

Happy Trading.

Aniket Kale Trader & Financial Engineer at Marketcalls plus a B Tech graduate in Computer Science. Interested in Trading Software, Building Trading Systems, Automated Trading & Volume Price Analysis

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