20 Essential Things

Amibroker – 20 Essential Things You Should Know Before You Start

Amibroker is a popular software for algo traders and those who backtest. It’s inexpensive, fast, and offers all needed to improve your trading. We have been using Amibroker for many years, and absolutely all backtesting on this blog is coded in Amibroker. We like the software and to save you time we have compiled a few things you should know before you start using Amibroker.

Amibroker course

Before we start, we’d briefly mention that we both have an extensive Amibroker review and course already at hand.

Is Amibroker free?

No, unfortunately not. But we would argue it’s a very inexpensive program. The license is for life, however, with a limit on the number of installations. You can try a limited free version with a trial to check it out.

What programming language is used by Amibroker? What is Amibroker AFL?

Amibroker uses Amibroker Formula Language (AFL). According to Amibroker, the syntax is similar to C and JScript (but presumably easier to use). It’s structured to avoid many loops to make it faster.

Is Amibroker Formula Language easy to learn?

It depends.

If you’re a coder, it’s probably easy. But if you are like us, semi-old and without any prior programming skills, it takes little time to “master”. The good thing is that you manage well by using just a few percentages of the capabilities.

The good old trial and error is the way to go, especially with some help from the Amibroker forum.

Do you need to code to use Amibroker?

No, Amibroker has developed the AFL Code Wizard that automatically converts English sentences into code. This is a nice app for those who are struggling to code, but we recommend learning to code, anyway.

Is there an active Amibroker forum?

Yes, the official forum is very active. There are plenty of coders who gladly help for free as long as you are forthcoming. Even the founder of Amibroker is active in that forum.

Amibroker supported brokers

Amibroker is a stand-alone program that is not connected to any brokers. You need a bridge/app/software to allow for live trading by using Amibroker. Interactive Broker is the only “official” broker, but there exist many apps that connect to other brokers.

We have covered in detail how to do it via Interactive Traders in this article:

We have been trading live for a few years and you can purchase our code in our Amibroker course.

Can you use Amibroker on Mac?

Amibroker is not available on Mac. We are not aware if that is about to change.

Is there Amibroker for Android?

No, Amibroker can’t run on Android. We are not aware if that is about to change.

What are some good Amibroker alternatives?

There are no direct substitutes or alternatives. All software platforms are different.

Which is better, Amibroker or Tradingview?

Tradingview is a web-based trading platform where you can backtest and trade directly from it. Amibroker is not web-based but a stand-alone program you need to download on your Windows machine.

The best strategies can be found in our….

Strategy Shop

Backtested trading strategies

We are old-fashioned and recommend Amibroker. This is mostly based on its superior speed and that we like to have it local and not in the “cloud”.

Which one is better for algo trading, Amibroker or Python?

We frequently ask ourselves: if you can use an already existing platform instead of coding everything from scratch, why would you prefer Python over Amibroker?

We are not coders, so we prefer Amibroker over Python. Please read our previous takes on this issue:

What is Amibroker quotes?

Amibroker has developed a program that downloads quotes and data called AmiQuote that lets you download free data from Yahoo, Tiingo, Quandl, BarChart, Stooq, and FinAm.

What is Amibroker crack?

That is when you are using a cracked (illegal) version. There are plenty of cracked versions, but be careful. Many of them contain viruses. Cracked versions are very frequent in India, a market where Amibroker has a loyal fanbase. Any legal version of Amibroker can only be downloaded legally from Amibroker’s website.

Does Amibroker have walk-forward?

Yes, Amibroker does offer walk-forward testing. Walk forward is out-of-sample testing.

What is Amibroker exploration?

Exploration is a type of analysis that allows you to scan and filter symbols based on an AFL formula. It lets you create custom reports in the form of tables with any number of columns.

Explorations are suitable for the following purposes:

  • Selection of symbols whose quotes meet the filtering criteria (and displaying the selected symbols in the report);
  • Carrying out necessary calculations for the quotes of each symbol and displaying the calculation results with the necessary columns;
  • Combining the two previous points.

What is Amibroker scanning?

Scanning is one of the main tools in Amibroker. It’s a type of analysis that involves scanning symbol quotes and performing certain calculations written in the Formula Editor. 

Scanning is suitable for the following purposes:

  • Search for trading signals based on the formula. If there are signals, then display them in the analysis window (results table);
  • To run various calculations based on the formula. For example, the formation of composite symbols or watch lists;
  • Automatic and live trading, when AmiBroker sends trade orders to a broker trading platform based on signals received through scanning. See module 2 for more details about this. 

Is there a candlestick scanner in Amibroker?

No, there is no specific candlestick pattern finder or scanner in Amibroker. There are a few, the easiest ones, but candlestick patterns consist normally of many candlesticks and are thus sometimes complicated to code.

However, we have coded ALL 75 candlestick patterns. We sell them with Amibroker code for ALL patterns:

What is a function in Amibroker?

A function is normally a sequence to perform a certain task.

What is bar count in Amibroker?

A bar count is when you count the number of bars during a defined period.

What is AFL Amibroker accumulation distribution?

This is an indicator that looks at both price and volume together.


What programming language does Amibroker use, and is the Amibroker Formula Language (AFL) easy to learn?

Amibroker uses AFL, which is similar to C and JScript. AFL is structured to be fast and is considered relatively easy to learn, especially for those familiar with coding.

How does Amibroker support live trading, and which brokers are compatible?

Amibroker is a stand-alone program not connected to any brokers. For live trading, a bridge/app/software is needed. Interactive Brokers is the official broker, but other apps can connect to different brokers.

Is there a candlestick scanner in Amibroker, and how many patterns are available?

Amibroker doesn’t have a specific candlestick scanner. However, the blog offers Amibroker code for all 75 candlestick patterns, including their performance and success rates

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