Stock market games are either exactly the same as existing trading platforms like Interactive Brokers or Questrade or are similar to them. The only exception is that the games use virtual money instead of real money.
Almost every popular trading platform and brokerage offers a stock market game to help users familiarize themselves with the platform and learn how to trade. If you haven’t already signed up with a platform, start your journey by comparing them below.
5 popular stock market games
We selected the 5 most popular stock market games you could try right now. These games are mostly free and you can find all the stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) available on exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq. Some of these games even offer crypto trading as well, if you’re looking to diversify.
1. MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange
Virtual Stock Exchange is a trading simulation game with real-time pricing. This is a cool feature because most games show a 10-minute delay in prices. Virtual Stock Exchange lets you create your own customized game where other people or friends can join you without limitations. You could also join another game to test your prowess against other players.
You’ll find more than a simple platform where you only buy and sell assets — it’s a robust platform that provides valuable information and tools to help you learn and test your strategies without risking your money. You can find analyst ratings and estimates, price charts, financials and more.
2. Investopedia Simulator
Investopedia Simulator lets you create or join someone else’s game. Each game has a set of rules such as enabling margin trading, short selling and options trading — which is a step up compared to most trading games that rarely allow for options trading. Plus, you can set the commission you pay to make it even more challenging and realistic.
Once you start a game, you have a set amount of virtual money to begin trading. As you trade, a performance history tab shows your transactions; a helpful tool to improve your skills. There’s also a leaderboard where you can compare your performance to other players.
3. How The Market Works
How The Market Works is similar to most stock trading games — you get to create a game, or join one. What makes it different, though, is that it’s designed for teachers to teach their students how to play the stock market.
The free version offers a similar experience to what all other games offer. To get the premium features, you’ll need to pay either $10 USD per student or $25 USD. This provides certificates to students and reporting tools for teachers.
4. Wall Street Survivor
Wall Street Survivor is another free stock trading game that helps you learn and improve your trading skills. Unlike other stock trading games, Wall Street Survivor lets you earn if you win their monthly contests.
With this game, you get to trade stocks, ETFs, options and crypto. It offers multiple order types, including market and limit order types, as well as trailing stop orders. This alone makes it one of the best stock trading games.
But even though this is a solid platform with enough education resources to get you going and a robust trading platform — Wall Street Survivor can become frustrating at times with frequent ads.
Wealthbase is one of the most fun and engaging stock trading games you can find. Aside from helping you learn how to trade, you get to socialize with other players and share ideas and trading setups.
However, you have to pay for this game. The free version lets you play with up to 5 players for up to 15 days per session. The next tier comes with a $20 USD game fee plus 5 cents per player per day. This will let you play with a maximum 1,000 players for up to a year.
Despite these limitations, Wealthbase can be fun to learn and test your prowess against other players in quick sessions of 15 days for free.
Compare online trading platforms
Pros and cons of playing stock market trading games
- Learn how to trade. Stock trading games allow you to gain an understanding of how the stock market works and how you can buy and sell shares to generate wealth.
- No money at risk. Stock trading games let you gain trading experience without actually investing any of your own money. This means you won’t end up out of pocket if you make a mistake.
- Put theory into practice. Stock trading games allow you to put some of your trading ideas and investment strategies into practice without exposing yourself to any risk.
- Unearned confidence. Games are never the same as the real world. Despite their benefits, playing a stock trading game is never the same as investing in real life. Your appetite for risk and overall investment strategy is always going to be different when you’re not actually risking any of your own money.
- Short-term. Many stock trading games only run for a limited period — 10 weeks, for example — which is not enough time to get a full understanding of how the stock market works.
- Stock market games are similar to real-life investing and trading except you use virtual money in simulated environments.
- Almost every popular brokerage platform offers trading with virtual cash.
- All stock market games offer stocks and ETFs, and some even offer options trading or crypto.
Frequently asked questions
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