Compare the best demo trading accounts in 2022

Demo trading accounts offer the chance to practice without putting any of your own money at risk. This page compares the best demo trading accounts and the brokers that offer them.
By: James Knight
James Knight
James has spent more than 10 years as a writer, researching and covering a range of topics, from business… read more.
Updated: Jun 13, 2022

A demo or virtual trading account is a feature where you can trade with ‘fake’ money. It’s a great opportunity to learn the ropes or to test out a trading strategy over time to see whether it could be successful. Below, find the best demo trading accounts and learn how to choose between them.

What are the best demo trading accounts?

Our experts have chosen the best brokers that offer virtual accounts and ranked them in the table below. Read on to find out more about each platform or scroll to the bottom to discover the methodology we used to create this list.

1
Min. Deposit
$10
Promotion
User Score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $10
Deposit with ACA, Wire, Pay with my bank
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Start Trading
Pros:
Trade/invest in stocks with just $10
Deposit with ACA, Wire, Pay with my bank
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
Investoo Ltd is compensated if you access certain of the products or services offered by eToro USA LLC and/or eToro USA Securities Inc., as applicable. This compensation incentivizes Investoo Ltd to describe those products and services in favorable terms. Any testimonials contained in this communication may not be representative of the experience of other eToro customers and such testimonials are not guarantees of future performance or success.
2
Min. Deposit
$0
Promotion
User Score
9.3
$0 commission and $0 Options contract fees
Upgraded research with advanced charts
Smart Menus for faster trades
Start Trading
Pros:
$0 commission and $0 Options contract fees
Upgraded research with advanced charts
Smart Menus for faster trades
Payment Methods
Full regulations list:
3
Min. Deposit
$500
Promotion
User Score
8.7
We offer one of the best execution speeds in the industry with low latency
Award-winning support in 14 languages
Trade with precision from 0.5 pips on EURUSD
Start Trading
Pros:
We offer one of the best execution speeds in the industry with low latency
Award-winning support in 14 languages
Trade with precision from 0.5 pips on EURUSD
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Bank Wire, Credit Card, Debit Card, PayPal, Sofort, neteller, skrill
Full regulations list:
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% 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.

Top demo trading accounts

1. eToro: Best overall

eToro is the best demo account we’ve tried because it’s the most simple and approachable to use. Once you’ve created an account with eToro, you can switch to virtual mode with one click and we found that it offered the same trading experience as the real thing.

It’s a demo account best suited to casual traders, with a lot of useful ways to pick up new ideas or strategies. The interface is styled like a social media platform, where you can see what other trades people are making and the reasons behind them. The big step forward is that you can easily copy these trades to your own account, even if you’re in virtual mode.

For more advanced traders, that might not be enough. It’s difficult to do much of your own analysis on the platform and we had to use TradingView to do the heavy lifting and simply used eToro to make trades. You can quite easily track the profit and loss of your demo account, though, and use the information to decide when to switch to real money.

Sign up with eToro >

68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money 

Pros

  • Trade with $100,000 virtual dollars
  • Access the same features as a real money account
  • Switch between demo and real accounts with one click
  • Use CopyTrader to learn from the best

Cons

2. AvaTrade: Best for beginners

AvaTrade is an excellent demo trading account for beginners because it balances an approachable interface with plenty of useful tools. Signing up is simple and you can switch to the demo account by flicking a switch in your account settings.

When we signed up we received a free forex trading ebook and access to a quick trading tutorial the first time we used the platform. The interface is simple to use but offers a lot of information; we found it easy enough to do basic analysis, although it’s limited to trends and channels rather than more intricate indicators.

Another thing to note is that you should be prepared to receive calls and emails from the account manager assigned to you. This can be helpful if you really want to learn the platform, but we found it more of a nuisance.

Sign up with AvaTrade >

Pros

  • $10,000 virtual dollars
  • Quick tutorial to help you start
  • ‘AvaProtect’ reimburses some losing positions

Cons

3. Skilling: Best for bespoke trading platforms

Skilling offers a range of different trading platforms so that you can choose one that works best for you. The basic ‘Trader’ platform is the most user-friendly and the easiest for a new user to start with.

The demo account is available as soon as you set up an account. Just supply an email address and password to set one up and then you can start trading without any risk at all.

We found the basic package to be more than enough for a beginner but, like many of these services, it limits the amount of analysis you can do. To perform in-depth analysis, you need at least the ‘cTrader’ subscription.

Sign up with Skilling >

Pros

  • Range of different account types
  • Set up a demo account with just an email address
  • No commission when trading for real

Cons

4. Capital.com: Best for mobile trading

Capital.com has an award winning mobile app, which makes it a great choice to trade on the go. On top of that freedom and flexibility, you can get feedback on your trading style through its use of artificial intelligence, which picks out your behaviour and biases to help you improve.

The site also offers a lot of useful educational material. Beginners can learn the ropes with the free demo account and use the trading algorithm to review your performance and find out where you’re making mistakes.

Our experience of capital.com is that the demo account is more or less like trading for real and very easy to access. Although, like some other platforms, you should be prepared to be contacted by account managers and upsold as soon as you supply your contact information. 

Sign up with Capital.com >

Pros

  • Quality mobile account
  • Lots of educational material
  • Offers feedback on your trading style

Cons

5. Plus500: Best for CFD trading

Plus500 is a CFD broker where you can trade US, UK, and European stocks. It offers better prices compared to traditional brokers and offers and, while the demo account is fairly standard, you don’t need to provide any personal information to access it.

The Plus500 demo account is similar to many of the other services we’ve covered in that it gives you a fixed amount of virtual money – £40,000 for us – and lets you perform technical analysis. It’s one of the best demo accounts we’ve seen for analysis, with a far greater range of indicators available and more freedom to experiment without needing a TradingView account.

We were also impressed by how easy it is to set up and start, the interface is clean and simple to understand and it took just a couple of clicks to create an account and place our first virtual trade.

Sign up with Plus500 >

Pros

  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Sign up with just an email address
  • Lots of technical analysis options available

Cons

What is a demo trading platform?

It’s a financial stock broker or trading platform that offers a way of testing the service without putting any real money at risk. Most often these take the form of demo or virtual trading accounts, which let you buy and sell virtual stocks as opposed to the real thing.

How does a demo trading platform work?

It simply swaps real financial markets for a simulated version. In that simulated world, you can use virtual money to buy virtual financial assets, whether that is stocks, currencies, cryptocurrencies, or anything else. 

Demo accounts are normally activated by just flicking a switch in your account settings. The service assigns you a fixed amount of virtual dollars – usually $100,000 or $1,000,000 – and you decide what to do with it. Occasionally, you won’t even need to create an account to access the demo version, we found a few brokers that offered us demo trading without requiring all the ID verification a full account would require.

How should I choose a demo trading platform?

Pick a service that offers you the most realistic trading experience, as that’s the best way to learn. Look for demo accounts that offer the opportunity to do your own analysis and that give you the chance to review your activity to assess what you profit and loss would have been. These factors should also be considered:

  • Realistic trading experience. The point of a demo account is practice, so look for a platform where the virtual trading experience reflects the real one. That means looking for an account where you can use leverage, short stocks, and put in stop-loss or take-profit orders.
  • Range of supported assets. You want to be able to practice on the shares that you’re interested in, and get relevant information on how well your strategies work. Make sure the platform supports all the company stocks you want to trade.
  • Verification and ID required. Almost every real-money account requires some form of verification. Demo accounts can be different, and if you don’t want to go supply personal details and ID just to trade virtual money then look for a trading platform that allows you to sign up with just an email address and phone number instead.
  • Integrated software. Many traders use specialist software like MetaTrader to make trades and manage their accounts. This is particularly relevant to FX traders and if it applies to you, make sure the demo account integrates with the software so you can practice properly and get to grips with it.
  • Charting and analysis tools. Performing technical analysis is an important part of making good trading decisions. You should trade on a demo account just as you would on the real markets in order to get the best out of it, so make sure you are able to do so.
  • Fees for real money trading. In an ideal world, you would use a demo account with the same broker as you want to use to trade for real. In that case, look for a service that offers low trading fees and which doesn’t charge too much for deposits and withdrawals.
  • Copy or social trading function. Copy or social trading is a form of trading where you follow the moves of other people. Each trader posts their trades, and the reasons behind them, like they would on a social media platform and you can copy the ones you like best. The best copy trading platforms are a good way to learn and it’s normally available to virtual traders as well as real ones. 

Should I use a demo trading platform?

A demo account is a great idea if you’re new to trading or want to test out a new strategy. It’s a way of trading without the risk of losing money, which is always most acute when you first start something new.

Popular trading platforms offer demo accounts that are almost identical to the real thing. You can often even use trading software like MetaTrader to practice for free, and you can learn whether your strategies work best on specific financial assets.

The obvious drawback to a demo platform is that it doesn’t offer any way to make money; your successful trades won’t translate into profits. It requires patience to understand your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as to avoid chasing those profits when you start trading for real.

What are the risks of using a demo trading platform?

One of the biggest risks is that it can encourage a more aggressive trading style than you would use were you putting real money on the line. It’s important to trade as if you did have something to lose, otherwise you might end up making reckless trades when you transition to real money.

Similarly, a hot streak on a demo account can be a frustrating experience. Beware of trying too hard to recreate that performance on your main account; if you’ve taken the time to develop a solid strategy then trust it to deliver good results over time. There is a quick summary of other risks and benefits available below.

Benefits

  • It allows you the space to practice
  • Beginners can learn the ropes and get to know new software
  • Experienced traders can practice new trading strategies
  • Test out new trading platforms for free
  • Work out which assets work best for your style

Risks

What are the fees for using a demo trading platform?

There are no fees for using a demo account. It’s free to create an account with any respectable broker or trading platform and there are no deposit requirements to use a demo account. Simply go to your account settings and switch on the virtual or demo account and start trading.

Methodology: How did we choose the best demo trading platforms?

This list of best demo trading platforms is borne out of extensive research and testing of the services involved. We created an account with every platform and tried to trade as normal, placed numerous trades on different assets and evaluated how easy it was to switch between virtual and real money accounts.

The information we gathered was ranked on a scale based on our expertise and we used online research and customer reviews as a ranking factor too. Together, the results formed the list you can find above.

The results were not influenced by any platform or service. However, if you sign up and create an account via any of the links on this page, we may earn a commission from the partners involved. Read our review process to find out more about how we make money.

FAQs

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Fact-checking & references

Our editors fact-check all content to ensure compliance with our strict editorial policy. The information in this article is supported by the following reliable sources.

Risk disclaimer

Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

James Knight
Editor of Education
James is the lead content editor for Invezz, covering the stock market, cryptocurrency, and macroeconomic markets. Outside of work, James is an avid trader and golfer… read more.