Big announcement!
Get a FREE Pro+ upgrade by connecting a qualifying Tradier Brokerage account! Learn more.


Backtest options strategies using custom entry and exit criteria, market conditions, and technical indicators. Explore thousands of backtests to find your next trading idea. Plus, instantly create a bot from any backtest.


Can I backtest a bot?

Currently, the Backtester does not have the functionality to backtest the numerous variables available in a bot. However, you can manually create a bot based on a backtest and even modify the strategy with more detail than the backtest allows.

How long does a Backtest take to run?

A backtest can take a few seconds to several minutes, depending on the complexity of the strategy, the number of criteria, and the amount of historical data being referenced.

Does backtesting guarantee that a strategy will work in the future?

No. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Can I backtest technical indicators?

Yes, you can backtest technical indicators and moving averages, as well as multiple entry and exit criteria.

What are the benefits of backtesting?

Backtesting provides a trader with insight into how a particular strategy has performed historically in varying market conditions.

Can I choose set periods of time I want to backtest?

Yes, you can run a backtest for one, three, and five years, or all time.

Why would I compare multiple capital allocation scenarios?

Capital allocation provides great insight into how a strategy will perform when assigned a different amount of trade capital. For example, over-allocating your capital may prove to be disastrous to your account with one strategy.

Can I change the capital allocation scenarios and test multiple scenarios?

Yes, you can choose to test three different allocation strategies per backtest. You can also compare allocation types by testing % based allocation and $ based allocations and compare them to see how one performed relative to the other.

Why would I use a percent allocation vs. a fixed-dollar allocation?

Percent allocation would allow you to have a fixed % of your account allocated on a per-trade basis instead of a standardized dollar amount. This can be beneficial because it would change as your account changes over time. If your account grows in value, the percentage allocation will also increase, for example. Ultimately, percentage allocation allows you to be more flexible based on your account size and growth rate.

Why would I set a max allocation parameter?

Max allocation ensures that you do not over-allocate your account to several different positions. For example, If you allocated 5% per trade and had ten open positions, you would have a total percent allocation of 50%. If you only want a maximum allocation of 25%, you would be capped at five open positions at any one time.

Why would I use a maximum percent total for all positions at once?

Similar to having a maximum dollar-based allocation, this would ensure that you did not risk more than a certain percentage of your account at any time.

Can I set stop losses and profit targets when Backtesting?

Yes. You can set 25%, 50%, and 75% profit-taking, as well as stop-losses up to 300%.

Can I only select preset DTE's from the pulldown list?

Yes, the Backtester has ten predefined DTE's: 10/15/20/30/40/50/60/70/80/90

While backtests are running can I navigate around and explore other backtests?


Where can I see backtests that I have previously run?

The “My Backtests” tab displays all your backtests.

How do I know when my backtest is complete?

While your Backtest is running a small icon will be displayed along with the current phase of the Backtest. Once completed the results will be shown at the top of your "My Backtests" page.

What are the multiple P/L lines showing on the Backtest summary page?

The profit and loss of different allocation amounts over the time period selected for your backtest.

What does capital at risk represent?

The total amount of capital allocation being used at that time for active positions.

How do I select the stats for each of the different allocations I tested?

When viewing the results for your backtest, you can select a box for the different allocations tested.

How can I see the actual trades made in each backtesting scenario?

Scroll down to the Positions section below Stats. Each individual trade is displayed.

Can I export my backtests?

No, backtests can not be exported but remain in "My Backtests" for future reference.

Where can I review the parameters used in a backtest?

Click "Edit" in the top right corner above the performance chart.

If I edit and re-run a backtest, do the results update automatically when the new backtest is finished?

Yes, updated results are immediately displayed and the new backtest will be at the top of "My Backtests."

How do I edit an existing backtest and re-run it?

Select the "Edit" button at the top right,  make your preferred edits, and click "Run Backtest."

How long does a modified backtest take to run?

When modifying a backtest, changes to the capital allocation will complete very quickly because the data is already pulled from the original backtest. When modifying the strategy type or entry/exit criteria, it will re-run a completely new backtest and likely take a few minutes to complete.

When would I run a new backtest vs. modifying an existing backtest?

If you change the symbol or make other major changes to the strategy selection it is recommended you run a new backtest so your results are kept separate.

How can I see all of my prior backtest results?

All of your prior backtests are stored in the "My Backtests" tab.

Can I currently convert my specific backtest into a new bot?

You can manually build a bot based on a backtest.

Can I delete any of my prior backtests?

No, all backtests are cached and used to create the "Top Backtests" and "Discover" page results.

Are backtests that I run owned by me?

Backtests that are run by you are kept in the "My Backtests" tab inside of your account. If you run a backtest that becomes best in its category, it will be shown anonymously on the "Top Backtest" or "Discover" page.

How can I see the "Top Backtests" other people have run?

Click on the "Top Backtests" tab at the top to see the best performing Backtests from all users. You can not specifically see Backtests run by a particular user at this time.

Can I sort "Backtests" by metrics that are important to me?

Yes, by clicking on each column in the top header, you can organize the results based on different metrics.

Are any "Backtests" that I run automatically put into the "Top Backtests" category?

Only the Backtests that are the best performing for a certain performance metric are placed in the "Top Backtests".

Can I see who ran a specific Backtest?

No, all Backtests are anonymous.

Can people see what Backtests were run specifically by me?

No, your Backtests are kept private on your account.

How can I generate some ideas of what to start Backtesting?

Explore the "Top Backtests" or "Discover" pages to see other top-performing Backtests.

Does using a "Top Backtest" mean that these strategies will continue working in the future?

No, past performance is not indicative of future results. 

How is the "Discover" tab different from "Top Backtests"?

The "Discover" tab displays the top backtests for each of the different performance categories. while the "Top Backtests" display only the top backtests for Return Percentage.

Can I take a "Discovered" Backtest and modify or edit it for my specific scenario?

Yes, although modification would naturally alter the historical performance so it would be wise to also test your modified version to compare to the original.

How can I filter various Backtests I'm researching?

By clicking on the column header at the top you can organize the Backtests from min/max for each category. For example, If you wanted to see the Backtest with the minimum amount of "Drawdown", simply click "Drawdown" twice to organize the list from min to max.

Why wouldn't I just pick the Backtest with the "highest return" and run it?

"Highest Return" is just one performance metric and does not give you a complete understanding of what was needed to produce the highest return. It might have required a 90% drawdown to produce the "Highest Return" and therefore may not be ideal for someone with a lower risk tolerance.

Does a strong Backtest result mean the strategy will continue performing exactly the same in the future?

No, past performance is not indicative of future results.

If I run a Backtest with better results than one listed in the "Discover" tab will my new Backtest replace the older one?

Yes, the "Discover" tab is being constantly updated to reflect the best in category Backtests. 

Why do some of my Backtested P/L lines "flatline"?

A flatline usually indicates the Backtest has a lack of available capital to enter new trades. This could be because the account was drawdown and can not afford new positions or the underlying symbols price got too expensive for the account allocation value to afford the position.

Why might my stats fields be empty after running a Backtest?

The Backtest did not complete any trades and therefore has no results to display.

Was this helpful?

Please share feedback with our team.
Kirk Du Plessis
No items found.

Find new trade ideas

Option Alpha calculates probabilities for millions of potential options positions using live market data so you can find new ideas without the guesswork.
MacBook mockup