A good stock trading simulator allows you to dip your toes in investing & trading without risking a penny. Unlike regular paper trading accounts, the stock market simulator apps are fun to use and can offer many additional benefits like valuable educational content, competition with other traders, and a more user-friendly experience.
Since 2015, we have tested over 150 trading simulator apps and games to help you choose the best one according to your skills and investing goals. We are constantly updating this list of apps with the latest contenders so you can be sure to get up-to-date information.
Based on our latest tests, here are the 11 best Stock Market Simulator Games:
- Three Investeers – iOS | Android
- Investopedia Simulator – Web
- Best Brokers Simulator – iOS | Android
- Invstr – iOS | Android
- Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade – Web
- Line Century Simulator – iOS
- Stock Trainer – Android
- HowTheMarketWorks – Web
- Ninja Trader – Web
- TradeStation – Web version
- Invest Stock Market Simulator – iOS
What is the best stock market simulator?
The table below summarizes the research that compares the 3 most popular stock market simulator apps.
The comparison is based on 10 key factors: trading functionality, stock research, real-time price delays, risk management, asset choice, educational value, contest & fun, indicators, portfolio management, and simulator’s price.
The best stock market simulator according to the 10-factor analysis is Three Investeers Stock Market Game. It doesn’t have the best stock research tools, but its live chart, interactive trading school and addictive leaderboard contests make its user experience stand out from the others.
The Investopedia simulator is the most famous of its genre. However, their simulator platform is quite old and has not been updated for many years. As a result, despite the decent features, the whole user experience feels outdated.
The Best Brokers Simulator is also a solid time-proven app, and it shares similar pros and cons with the Investopedia simulator.
Let’s compare them head to head.
Trading simulator functionality
Do you know what’s at the heart of every investment and trading platform?
It’s the charting engine and the trading screen.
If you’re looking for the most intuitive and entertaining experience, Three Investeers might be the best one. Their charting tool is by far better for analyzing the intraday market movements thanks to the candlestick charts and live prices.
For example, with the Investopedia and Best Brokers simulators, you have to go back and forth to open a new asset chart, but with Three Investeers, your favorite assets are easily available in the scrollable header bar, which is similar to Instagram’s stories header.
However, if you’re not so much into day trading but more interested in long-term investing, then you might consider testing out the Investopedia or Best Brokers apps, as their charts also support monthly and yearly timeframes.
Best stock screener tools
If you’re considering buying shares in a company, you need to analyze its financial data like price-earnings ratio, sales growth, profit margin, etc.
None of these trading simulators have proper stock screener functionality built in.
Investopedia and Best Brokers apps have some basic fundamental data for stocks, but even they are barely scratching the surface of what’s needed for proper analysis.
Three Investeers simulator does not have any fundamental data about the stocks. It has a Top Gainers and Top Losers filter, which is handy for finding day trading profit opportunities, but not for value investing.
Also, if you’re a beginner, having a “68.72 P/E ratio” reading next to the Tesla logo won’t help you much.
First, you’ll need a clear explanation of the different ratios. And most importantly, to properly analyze stocks, you need to see the data in dynamics, and you want to compare and filter multiple assets at once.
So unless you have a subscription to the Bloomberg Terminal (which costs $2,000/mo), it’s much more convenient to do the analysis in a dedicated stock screener and the trading (or simulated trading) in a trading app.
One of the best free stock screeners is Finviz, where you can filter stocks with the most potential.
Bottom line: For serious analysis, you need specialized stock screeners.
Trade status and immersiveness
It’s good to see where exactly you have entered a trade on the chart and how it progresses.
Not seeing your trades on the chart is like flying a plane in the clouds without radar – it’s mundane and dangerous.
Even for longer-term trading, you want to know if you are going with or against the market trend.
The Three Investeers paper trading game is one of the rare simulators that allows you to see your trades on a snappy interactive chart. You can see exactly where you entered and analyze the price action to see if there are any chart patterns around your trade or not.
With the two other simulators, you can only see your trades as lines of text in a static table.
Which app is best for live trading (Without real time price delays)?
To practice live trading, you need a trading simulator with real time prices.
The best trading app for live trading and day trading is the Three Investeers simulator as their prices are updated up to multiple times per second.
Other simulators, in comparison, feel as if they’re off-line – the prices don’t move, and the charts look frozen.
If you’re more interested in practicing long-term investing, you can get by with a simulator that is updated just once every 15 minutes. However, having real-time prices is always better.
For example, seeing how Tesla stock or Oil reacts in real time to an announcement from Elon Musk will give you a better feel for how the market works. Even more important is to see how prices react in real time to the central banks’ announcements.
Why don’t all the simulators have real time prices? Having hundreds and thousands of assets firing live prices 10 times per second is highly resource-intensive. Live price streams cost a lot of money. And you need sophisticated and expensive server infrastructure to provide live trading for your users and to calculate live portfolio changes.
Which trading simulator allows you to practice 24/7?
If your trading simulator offers only stocks, you will have a short daily window to practice trading.
You’ll come home from work, open your simulator and stumble on a message like this: “Market is closed. It opens in 8 hours and 17 minutes”
If you want to trade all day long without being bound to the short stock market hours, the best option is the Three Investeers app. It has the widest selection of different assets that allow you to trade day and night, even during the weekends.
The stock market is usually open from 9:30 to 16:00 Mon-Fri (EST). So if you have been dreaming about trading stocks by an infinity pool in Bali, you should probably forget about stocks and commodities.
Because when the stock market opens at 9:00 AM in New York, it is 10:00 PM in Bali. And the market closes at 5:00 in the morning Bali time.
Trading during the night will not be healthy in the long term.
Which is the best app for learning to trade and invest?
A trading simulator alone is not enough to learn investing or trading. A simulator can be useful to see how to place orders and how the basics of the market and risk management work. But there’s much more to learn if you want to be successful.
Add the fact that trading with fake money can create a false illusion of your skills, and you quickly understand that you need heaps of additional education on top of being good with a simulator.
The best educational value can be found in the Three Investeers trading school. It offers illustrated lessons starting from the very basics to the chart pattern strategies.
Unlike most other learning materials that are usually static and without illustrations, their bite-sized school is interactive. You can test your understanding with short quizzes throughout the learning process. It’s a pleasure to learn with this app. You have to buy the PRO plan to access the full school course, but it’s worth the money.
The learning section of the Investopedia simulator features a selection of market lessons linking to the articles on their website. It provides a good introduction to the financial markets as their articles are high-quality. But switching from the app to the website is not the best user experience.
Best Brokers is the weakest in terms of educational value. They have just 4 videos with some basics explained.
Best portfolio management
To learn what’s working and make necessary adjustments to your strategy, you need to have a good portfolio overview. A good portfolio screen will allow you to see all your stats at a glance and show you how you are doing currently and over different time horizons – today, this month, year to date, and all time.
All of the top 3 simulators have most of the necessary info available. The Three Investeers app unfortunately doesn’t allow you to switch time frames of your portfolio. The other two allow this, but they lack the live updating.
As a result, on their apps, you’ll get your performance history updated only once every other minute or after the market closure, which is quite weak.
Which is the most fun paper trading simulator?
A regular paper trading account will not keep you up at night. It will also not make you hyped and anxious in the morning before the markets open.
Because classical paper trading platforms don’t have any interactivity. You trade fake money and compete against yourself. It quickly becomes boring.
On the other hand, trading simulator games have built-in gamification elements to boost users’ motivation and make the learning process more enjoyable.
The most popular gamification element is a leaderboard where users can see how they compare against each other in the trading simulator.
All of the TOP3 simulators have a leaderboard, but the Three Investeers have the most interesting and active one.
They have weekly leaderboards with a count-down timer where the users are judged by their weekly performance. As a result, even the newest members can get to the first spots, as it’s not possible for the old users to occupy the top places simply due to their accumulated game money.
From time to time, the Three Investeers also award real money prizes for the three best weekly traders.
Best simulator to learn technical analysis
If you’re serious about learning to trade, you must master technical analysis and at least a few of the most popular technical indicators.
Technical analysis is not a magic wand that will make you rich, but it helps to find trades with an increased probability of success. Also, it’s crucial for risk management.
The only one of these apps that offers a decent set of technical analysis tools is the Three Investeers simulator.
In addition to the basic line chart, they also have candlestick charts which are the bread and butter of technical analysis. As to the indicators they have moving averages, MACD, Relative Strength Index, Bollinger bands, and 60+ other indicators. Unfortunately, they don’t yet have the Volume indicator and Fibonacci, which are very popular among traders.
Best risk management features
If there is a holy grail in trading, it’s risk management. It might sound strange, but traders with effective risk management strategies can still make money even if they lose more trades than they win.
That’s possible if their winning trades are (on average) more profitable than their losses. You don’t need a high win rate to make big returns.
As a trader, you’ll inevitably have many losing positions. But if you prepare for losses – and stick to your risk management plan – they shouldn’t restrict your long-term success.
Pro trader tip: rather than focus on winning, shift your focus on not losing so much!
How can you do it? Start by learning to use stop loss and target profit orders.
Before entering a trade, you should always have an exit strategy – so that one losing trade doesn’t wipe out a significant chunk of your trading account.
Market movements can be unpredictable, and the stop loss order is one of the easiest and most efficient mechanisms that traders have to protect against excessive losses.
The Three Investeers app lets you set stop loss and target profit orders for every trade you open. That allows you to avoid unnecessary losses and learn the fundaments of risk management (especially if you couple the practice with the Risk Management chapter from their trading school.
Here’s how it looks in action:
Idea for future update: It would be helpful if you had the option to set the stops at exact price levels, instead of just percentages from the trade size.
Where can I practice trading for free?
Three Investeers Trading Simulator, Investopedia Simulator, and Best Brokers Simulator all allow you to practice trading for free.
If you want extra game money, full access to school or to remove the ads, you can buy the optional upgrade packages.
Unfortunately, the Investopedia simulator is filled with ads, and there is no way to turn them off, as they don’t offer a pro version.
It’s easy to get confused with the wide choice of simulators.
As we can conclude from this comparison, the Investopedia Simulator is the most popular one not because it’s the best one but rather because they have the top positions in Google thanks to the high domain rating of their primary website.
Three Investeers simulator has raised the bar for trading simulators, and the older leaders have a lot of work to catch up.
Three Investeers is clearly the best stock market simulator app in the market right now.
By the way, all of these trading simulators offer free versions, so go ahead and download them to see for yourself: