How To Backtest a Trading Strategy in TradingView

Robust strategy backtesting is critical for developing and validating profitable trading systems. TradingView offers built-in tools to thoroughly backtest any strategy by replaying it through historical data.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk through how to properly backtest a trading strategy on TradingView to gain confidence in its viability. Let’s dive in and maximize this powerful capability!

How To Test A Strategy In Tradingview

Why Backtest Trading Strategies?

Backtesting involves running a strategy through historical price data to simulate how it would have performed in the past. This allows determining key metrics like:

  • Total return over time
  • Average profit per trade
  • Percentage of winning trades
  • Maximum drawdown
  • Risk-reward ratios

Rigorous backtesting enables gauging a strategy’s profitability, risks, and consistency before risking real capital. It’s essential for validating any strategy.

Backtesting TradingView Strategies

TradingView makes backtesting simple through its cloud-based Strategy Tester tool:

1. Code strategy rules and logic in Pine Script

2. Add sufficient historical price data for the asset

3. Open the Strategy Tester panel

4. Select strategy, symbol, and date range

5. Run backtest to visualize and analyze performance

In minutes, we can get detailed performance data confirming if a strategy could be worthwhile or not.

Coding with Pine Script

Pine Script is TradingView’s built-in programming language for coding strategies and indicators.

Some key concepts for coders:

Variables – Store values like entry rules, stop loss pips etc

Functions – Code logic like strategy entries, exits

Conditions – Write if/else statements, filters for rules

Indicators – Incorporate other technical indicators

Orders – Functions to place simulated long/short trades

Pine Script allows coding complex systems, from simple to advanced.

Choosing a Trading Market

Any market with historical price data available on TradingView can be backtested:

  • Forex – All major and minor currency pairs
  • Stocks – US and international equities across major indexes
  • Cryptocurrencies – Top cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum etc
  • Commodities – Gold, oil, natural gas etc
  • Indexes – S&P 500, NASDAQ 100, and global indexes

Strategies can be tested across a breadth of markets to find optimal assets.

Configuring Timeframes and Date Ranges

Proper backtest configuration is key for realistic results:

Timeframe – 15 min, hourly, 4 hr, daily etc. Should match strategy rules.

Date Range – Longer is better, aim for 5+ years of historical data.

Warms Up Period – Ignore results for first 30-90 days to account for data gaps when starting.

Margins – Set margins/leverage in line with real trading conditions.

Fees – Add applicable spread, commission, and slippage costs.

Mimicking real trading environments creates accurate simulations. Tweak settings and re-run tests to gauge differences.

Key Metrics to Analyze from Strategy Tester

The TradingView Strategy Tester produces an extensive suite of performance metrics:

  • Total return over time
  • Average profit per trade
  • Profit factor ratio
  • Percentage of winning trades
  • Maximum drawdown
  • Expectancy
  • Risk-reward ratios

Study multiple metrics and aim to improve criteria over successive iterations. The best strategies excel across many measures simultaneously.

Spark Impulse strategy

Access our advanced Spark Impulse Indicator

Interpreting the Equity Curve

The Strategy Tester graphs an equity curve visualizing cumulative profit over the backtest timeframe.

Ideally, curves should:

  • Demonstrate consistent upward progression over years
  • Show limited drawdowns and quick recovery
  • Prevent prolonged flat or downward periods
  • Deliver reasonable annual returns for the market traded

The equity curve provides a quick visual overview of historical performance.

Optimizing the Strategy

Once initial backtest complete, optimize by tweaking:

The goal is achieving higher returns while minimizing drawdowns before re-testing. Optimization requires iterating repeatedly.

Avoiding Overfitting

A common mistake is over-optimizing on past data causing future reliability issues.

Signs of overfitting:

  • Equity curve too smooth without normal drawdowns
  • Parameters highly specific without logic
  • Performance degrades significantly on out-of-sample data
  • Too many input variables lead to over-complexity

Keep optimizations reasonable and grounded in rational logic. Overfit systems likely fail real-world testing.

Applying Robust Validation

In addition to backtesting, ensure the strategy succeeds under additional validation:

  • Forward testing in a paper trading account
  • Applying to instruments and time periods outside of optimization
  • Assessing performance across different market conditions
  • Running Monte Carlo simulations for performance range

Robust backtesting combined with rigorous validation provides confidence in a strategy.


Proper backtesting enables traders to thoroughly evaluate trading strategies before risking capital. TradingView’s Strategy Tester provides an immensely valuable tool for strategy coding, optimization and historial replay.

Use this guide to leverage backtesting to its fullest and bring the highest quality trading systems to live markets. Rigorous strategies start with robust backtesting.

Author: Dominic Walsh

I am a highly regarded trader, author & coach with over 16 years of experience trading financial markets. Today I am recognized by many as a forex strategy developer. After starting blogging in 2014, I became one of the world's most widely followed forex trading coaches, with a monthly readership of more than 40,000 traders! Make sure to follow me on social media: Instagram | Facebook | Linkedin | Youtube| Twitter | Pinterest | Medium | Quora | Reddit | Telegram Channel

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