Freebie Trading Simulator


Active member
I have put together a futures trading simulator which gets real time prices from IB, mainly for my own use. It makes paper trading a bit more realistic, and therefore less susceptible to ‘cheating’.

Anyway, a few other folks are using it too and seem to find it quite useful, so it’s now available for anyone who wants a copy from - download, installation and usage instructions are on the site. You need an account with Interactive Brokers to use it, coz that’s where it gets it’s prices from :D You could use it with the IB Demo account, but that uses manufactured quotes which bear little resemblance to what’s happening in the real world.

Thank you Henry - a very selfless gesture, which I'm sure everyone here (well, all those with IB accounts anyway) will make great use of.

As ChartMan says, you're a star.
Well Done Henry.

Love to be able to set up this sort of thing myself, but couldn't do it, probably because I'm too thick.

Any chance of you coming up with something like that auto trader (for real) that's already on there? Which is no good for me because it doesn't do our future.

All the best.

This is brilliant H,
Exactly what I am looking for when real time trading.

You have my utmost respect and admiration sir.
This is the simple trading platform that I was after, (but the yanks make things too complex with their efforts.)

I haven't downloaded yet because I am running the real time feed.

Would it work real time straight away?

Will it... will it... will it. When's it coming out... today, tommorow, Saturday, ay, ay?
Are we there yet...


Well done.


I'm planning on doing a version which will allow you to make real trades as well - ie act as an IB front end as well as a simulator. I may get round to that next weekend.

In the meantime, the current simulation only version will work quite happily in real time with your contract as it is now (you trade FTSE futures right?) you just need to add the symbol to the config file - instructions on the web site. AutoTrader will also work with the FTSE futures.

Thanks H.

Re the auto trader. Have never been able to change the symbol to the liffe future, so have never had it working.

Much prefer the look of yours now though. More 'cleaner'.

All the best.

I have made some changes to the TSim trading simulator. Aside from a couple of bug fixes and some cosmetic amendments, the main change is the addition of an integrated Alarms schedule to warn you of upcoming announcements which may move the market. The alarms can prevent you from trading at predefined times. A countdown timer to assist in timing chart bars has also been added.

For details of the new features, see the Whats New page at the TSim site.

I have had a play with the IB supplied demo system, which is rubbish.

I would really like to have a go with some IB live prices and the sim thingy that Henry has made and kindly distributed for free.

Does anyone know if I need to open a full bifter account with IB to get live prices, or is there a cheaper way of getting this from IB.

You need to have an open, funded, account - with the relevant trading permissions granted (data feeds).

I don't know of any other way to get the data. If you are not trading it will just cost you $10 per month for ES (for example).
Hi Henry,
Having a few probs. From desktop I get:
"File not found:The contracts specification file (contracts.tsm) could not be found. Make sure this folder exists in the Tsim folder, and run tsim again."

Then on top of that I get a exclaimation mark warning:
"Run time error '6' overflow."

Have checked the TSim folder and file is there but, alarms, config and contracts files all have the windows logo on them. ie I can't open them. Somethings missing, any ideas?

PS. I don't have excel or word installed.

Options, Sounds like you need to uninstall through Control Panel, then download the latest full installer (0.3.1) and run that. A couple of others have had this problem and this fixed it for them.

Hope that helps, if not please email me directly at the address on the website and we'll try and work out whats happening.

PS: Just read your post again, and you say "from the desktop" - you need to run TSim from the link in your Start Menu, if you have copied the exe to the desktop it wont work.
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A reminder to anyone who is using TSim to trade ES or NQ, that because it's a rollover day today (of the non-lotto variety), the contracts.tsm file needs to be updated to trade the March 03 contract. Instructions appear on the TSim website.

Just a quickie - a couple of people have been having runtime 450 errors with TSim. This is becase IB have released an updated copy of their API. Presently TSim requires Version 6 of the API to run (links to this are on the TSim site).

The next release of TSim will be updated to use the newer API - hoping to make it available early in the New Year.

TSim+ New Release

The new version of the free TSim futures trading simulator is now available for download from

New features include :

- Live trading
- Commission tracking
- Automatic targets
- Automated trading

Full details of all new features and updates are on the Whats New page at the website.


Well done - very nice tool

However do you have a version of tsim or tsim+ which works with api 6.1? I use metaserver which doesnt work with 7.1 yet. I believe Tsim worked with 5.1 but not 6.1.

Metaserver and IB

Hi Nick,

I havent upgraded my TWS and from what you are saying it doesnt work with Metaserver RT is that correct ?
Anyway if it doesnt it is probably worth hassling Traders-soft for the upgrade in their programn as well.

What do you think ?