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Stock trading games to master your craft

Learn the fundamentals of stock trading with these 5 top games.

Updated

Stock trading can be a good way earn some extra money and invest for the future — but it can also be risky. With so much conflicting information on which stocks to buy and how to invest in general, it can be hard to know where to start. Enter: stock trading games. Many of them simulate the stock market so users can practice trading using fake money.

Learn how to develop an investment strategy without putting any of your own money on the line. Practice makes perfect.

How do stock trading games work?

Most stock trading games offer a real-time simulation of stock market investing. These games provide you with a set budget of pretend money. You can then use these virtual dollars to “buy” your very own portfolio of stocks.

Among other skills, stock trading games can teach you how to:

  • Research companies
  • Place different trade orders
  • Build an investment strategy
  • Minimize losses

What online stock trading games are available?

Some of the online stock trading games based on different markets are:

1. MarketWatch Virtual Stock Exchange

This is one of one of most well known stock trading games. Players can choose from many different scenarios – with company prices mirroring real, live market prices and a standard brokerage fee per trade.

An online portfolio allows you to monitor your stocks, compete against friends and other virtual traders and have a chance to see what the outcome of your investments would have been if you’d invested real money.

2. HowTheMarketWorks Stock Market Game

Another popular option is the HowTheMarketWorks game, which gives you a budget of $100,000 that you can use to manage your own fantasy stocks portfolio. It’s free and aims to offer an experience as similar to real-life trading as possible.

The game allows you to buy and sell stocks, keep a record of your trades and your stock portfolio, test out trading strategies and see how your performance stacks up against other traders. HowTheMarketWorks is often used in university classes, high school classes and all around as a learning tool before people invest real money.

3. Investopedia Stock Simulator

The Investopedia Stock Simulator is another free share trading game designed to give you a taste of stock market investing. Players are given a virtual budget of US$100,000 to invest and can compete with more than 700,000 other traders from around the world.

Join or create challenges to test your skills against other investors, such as who can achieve the best investment results each day.

4. Wall Street Survivor

Wall Street Survivor is a fun and educational game that gives competitors a budget of $100,000 to invest in whichever stocks they like. Features include simple-to-understand stock ratings and advice, a huge resource library and tips on company research. It’s a useful educational tool if you’re looking to find out more about investing in stocks.

5. TD Ameritrade’s ThinkOrSwim

This free simulation game contains all the premium features of a TD Ameritrade account, but allows you to trade using fake money. Although you’ll need a free TD Ameritrade account to play with paper money on ThinkOrSwim, it’s available as a desktop download and as apps on both iOS and Android.

Take an online course on stock trading

Pros and cons of playing stock market trading games

Pros include:

  • 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.

Cons include:

  • 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.

Ready to try the real deal? Compare stock trading accounts below

Use our comparison table to quickly compare fees and supported assets on many different stock trading platforms.

Name Product Available asset types Stock trade fee Option trade fee Annual fee
Vanguard
Stocks,Mutual funds,ETFs,Forex
$0
$1
$20 per year
Get a personal advisor when you open an account with at least $50,000.
You Invest
Stocks,Bonds,Options,Mutual funds,ETFs
$0
$0 + $0.65/contract
0%
Commission-free online stock, ETF and options trades on a beginner-friendly platform.
INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
Tastyworks
Stocks,Options,ETFs,Futures
$0
Stocks & ETFs: $1/contract to open, $0 to close, $10 max/leg
Futures: $2.50/contract to open, $0 to close
0%
Trade stocks, options, ETFs and futures on mobile or desktop with this advanced platform.
Robinhood
Stocks,Options,ETFs,Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
0%
Make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds, and options with Robinhood Financial.
Webull
Stocks,Options,ETFs
$0
$0
0%
Margin financing rates start at 3.99%. No monthly subscription fees for margin.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

Bottom line

Stock trading games are a fun way to get started in the market, but the strategies you develop when using fake money may cost you if you start investing with real money. Always educate yourself before investing your hard-earned cash.

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