Topstep Review

Proof you can profit, show you can manage risk and make real money trading futures. These three simple steps explain in short how TopstepTrader works.

However, things are not always as simple as they seem. Therefore I analyzed TopstepTraders funded trader program, products and services. I will reveal all the important aspects you have to know about in this TopstepTrader Review.

topstep trader review
Topstep Review: Features and Highlights
📆 Founded 2012
🏢 HQ United States
🚀 Features Funded trading accounts, trader education, performance coaching
👛 Coupons, discounts 20% Off
🎮 Trial 14-day free trial

Transparency: We may get compensated when you click on links in this article.

What Is Topsteptrader?

Michael Patak founded TopstepTrader in 2012. According to INC.5000, TopstepTrader belongs to America’s 5,000 fastest growing companies. This is a clear indicator that TopstepTraders products and services are exactly what the majority of traders are searching for.

The concept is pretty simple. Traders who qualify can trade with TopstepTraders capital on a funded futures trading account where they keep the first $5,000 in profits and 90% of the profits after that.

The monthly fee for the challenge with the name Trading Combine start at $132 per month with our discount code.

Here are some more interesting statistics (based on TopstepTraders website):

  • 10,000+ traders have traded TopstepTraders capital
  • Funded accounts: 8,389 in 2021 and 6,033 in 2020
  • $3,200,000+ withdrawals processed in 2021
  • $2,000,000+ withdrawals processed in 2020
  • 97% funded trader satisfaction
  • Performance coaching available
  • 14 trading platforms supported (TSTrader, NinjaTrader and TradingView recommended by TST)
  • Trustpilot TrustScore 4.3/5 (1,386 Ratings)

Over 10,000 traders have already succeeded in being rewarded with a funded account in the last two years.

It doesn’t matter if you are a U.S. citizen or if you live in another country all around the world. People from 143 different countries are part of the trading community.

Special Offer: 20% Discount + Topstep Free Trial

Products | Services | Costs

In the first step, you can start trading with a free 14-day practice account with $150,000 (no credit card required), or you can enter the challenge of TopstepTrader’s Trading Combine to find out if you will be evaluated for a Funded Trading Account.

TopstepTrader Free Trial

TopstepTrader’s Trading Combine and also the Funded Trader Preparation are simulated accounts where you are trading in real-time while your performance is assessed to decide if you will become a funded trader.

So, what can you trade here?

With Topstep you can trade:

  • CME Equity Futures (ES, MES, NQ, MNQ, RTY, M2K, NKD)
  • CME Foreign Exchange Futures (6A, 6B, 6C, 6E, 6J, 6S, E7)
  • CME Agricultural Futures (HE, LE)
  • CME NYMEX Futures (CL, QM, NG, QG)
  • CME CBOT Agricultural Futures (ZC, ZW, ZS, ZM, ZL)
  • CME CBOT Financial and Interest Rate Futures (ZT, ZF, ZN, TN, ZB, UB, GE)
  • CME COMEX Futures (GC, SI, HG)

Become a Funded Trader in 2 Steps

Topsteptrader Trading Combine – Prove That You Have What It Takes

When you enter the Trading Combine, you will have all the time it takes to reach the goal by trading according to the rules. However, you will have to pay for the subscription every month – from the day you signed up until the month you meet the target, or you cancel your subscription.

At every time during a Trading Combine, it will be possible to reset the balance and the rules of your account for the price of $99. This reset fee is on top of the monthly payment and will have no influence on your monthly bill.

You will have the choice between starting with simulated funds of $50K, $100K or $150K. The regular pricing starts at $165 for the 50k account. Alternatively you select the $100K acccount for $325 or the $150K account for $375 per month. The most popular one is the $50k account.

TopstepTrader Discount

You can reduce the price for any funded trading account by using the links below.

Click here to start your career as a funded trader and save 20% on any account size. (Automatic discount on all account sizes upon checkout. Follow the link, select your account size and click Select. Now you see the confirmed 20% discount)

Depending on your choice, the profit target, maximum position size, daily loss limit, weekly loss limit, trailing maximum drawdown and the monthly price will be different.

Another yet important aspect is that the chosen account balance in the Trading Combine determines the starting balance from your funded account once you complete the Trading Combine successfully.

So if you start with a $50K Trading Combine account with a monthly fee of $165, then in case of success, you will get access to a funded account with a balance of $50K.

There are 2 steps you have to accomplish during the Trading Combine:

topsteptrader evealuation

TopstepTrader Trading Combine Step 1

Trade at least 5 days (days do not have to be in a row) without rule breach and meet the profit target of your chosen Trading Combine.

This first step is easier to accomplish because the rules are limited to:

  1. Reach the profit target,
  2. Trade on at least 5 days
  3. Do not surpass the daily loss limit (which is monitored and calculated in real time during the trading day) and
  4. Do not allow your account balance to hit or exceed the trailing maximum drawdown (which is calculated end of day during the Trading Combine).

Example if you have chosen the Starting Balance of $50K

  • You have to actively trade on 5 days (they do not have to be in a row)
  • Also, you have to reach the profit target of $3,000 (no time limit)
  • You can trade a maximum of 5 contracts at once
  • The daily loss limit is $1,000
  • The weekly loss limit is $1,000
  • The trailing maximum drawdown is $2,000

What is step 1 good for?

  • You proof the firm a consistent performance and that you understand what you do
  • You can apply your strategies in multiple market conditions

Choosing another starting balance means to have different thresholds. It is essential to select the right plan carefully. Finally, if you play according to the rules and reach the profit target, then you managed to accomplish step 1 of the Trading Combine.

Trading Combine Step 2

The Topstep Trading Combine step 2 was formerly known as “TopstepTrader’s Funded Trader Preparation.”

Once you finished step 1, then your account will be reviewed once your trade reports are uploaded at 4 PM CT. The more challenging step 2 begins once you received an email from TopstepTrader confirming that step 2 is active.

In Step 2 of the Trading Combine everything starts once again. If you have chosen the Starting Balance of $50K, then:

  • You have to reach the profit target of $3,000 (the best day needs to be accountable for less than 40% of the total profits made)
  • The daily loss limit is $1,000
  • The weekly loss limit is $1,000 (the rule is active until the trailing maximum drawdown reaches the starting balance)
  • The trailing maximum drawdown is $2,000 – So, if your account balance is at 50k at the beginning of the day and falls below $48k by the end of that trading day during the challenge, then the trailing maximum drawdown was hit. If the next day starts with $55k, then your trailing stop loss is 2k below at 53k and so on
  • You are not allowed to trade during major economic releases
  • It is needed to follow the scaling plan (the maximum number of lots you can trade depends on the account balance). You can trade a maximum of 2 contracts in the beginning based on the scaling plan at once, with more funds in the account the lots increase

It is important to know, that you can reset step 2 in the same way as in step 1. If you reset your account in step 2, then you will stay in step 2 of the challenge, and you can reset as many times you want. However, every reset costs an additional fee of $99.

The 2nd step is more challenging then step 1 because with fewer contracts and harder rules you need to archive the same profit target again that you met in step 1.

There are many details that you have to understand before starting. Because if you do not aware of the exact details, you might fail because you didn’t realize before that there is a limitation.

As an example, if you went through step 1 trading 5 lots every time and start step 2 also with trading 5 lots, then you failed step 2 because in step 2 you have to follow the Step 2 scaling plan.

TopstepTrader Scaling Plan

Remember, you and TopstepTrader will be business partners, and it is in your both interest that you align to the best possible solution. It would be best if you never hesitated to contact them and ask any questions you came up with.

When you follow the rules until you will reach the profit target, you will move on to the next step, the Funded Trader Preparation™. This is the last hurdle that needs to be overcome before the funded account.

TopstepTrader Review – The Funded Account

If you passed the 2-step evaluation of the TopstepTrader Trading Combine, then you will be funded and able to trade with real money. You will keep the first $5,000 of your profits and 90% of your further profits – and the best of all: There will be no risk for you since you trade on a TopstepTrader account.

Besides this, with a Funded Account, you will have some different general conditions compared to the Trading Combine. The major differences are:

More Products to Trade With

During the combine, traders are limited to trade futures listed on the CME. Within the funded account, it is possible to trade additional products listed at EUREX, CBOT, NYMEX, and COMEX.

However, traders now have to pay for the real-time data feed. Funded traders are responsible for the data fee cost charged by the exchange.

Since trading a prop-account means being defined as a professional trader, the exchange-fee structure is as follows:

  • CME $116-$132
  • CBOT $116-$132
  • NYMEX $116-$132
  • COMEX $116-$132

Other Fees for the Trading Platform

While the trading platform TSTrader can be used without a monthly platform fee, some other platforms are subject to a charge. I integrated a full list of all available platforms later in this Topsteptrader Review under trading platforms.


During the combine, $3.70 were charged per round turn ($1.85 per side) in the simulated account. Within the funded trader account, you will be charged commissions and exchange fees, depending on the trading platform you use.

Here is an example provided by Topstep:

topstep commissions

Commissions and exchange fees differ depending on the products you trade, brokers you use, etc. Make sure to research first because commissions and feed have a high impact on your profitability.

Different Rules

While the trailing maximum drawdown rule was checked at the end of the day during the Trading Combine, when trading the real money account the rules are monitored in real time.

Once you hit the maximum drawdown value, you failed to trade the funded account, and you will get back to the combine. Keep that in mind! Any rule breach will get you back into the combine again. You cannot reset trading the funded account.

Withdrawals at Any Time Possible

Withdrawals can be requested at any time, and it will take about 7 business days until the payout is made. If the payout is $500 or higher, there are no wire fees. If a payout of less then $500 is requested, then a wire fee of $50 will apply.

Trading Platforms

Trading with Topstep is possible using their in-house trading platform TSTrader or with one of the other 14 platforms listed below. Please be aware of the fact, that there are particular limitations present regarding the brokerage (only Tradovate, NinjaTrader Brokerage, Cunningham and Stage5) and data-feeds (CQG, Rithmic, and CTS) you can use.

Choosing TSTrader will be the easiest way, but if you consider using a different platform, you should contact TopstepTrader to evaluate the best possible solution suiting your needs.

Platform Free in Trading Combine Free in Funded Account
TradingView YES YES
NinjaTrader YES NO
Jigsaw Daytradr NO NO
MultiCharts NO NO
R|Trader Pro YES NO
VolFix NO NO
Trade Navigator NO NO
ATAS OrderFlow Trading YES NO
MotiveWave NO NO
Bookmap NO NO
Investor/RT NO NO

Topsteptrader Education and Coaching Plan

TopstepTrader offers free trading education, performance coaching, and squawk radio. You can join other traders in the interactive chat-room to discuss your ideas and experiences. Beside this, you will have access to:

  • Daily live trading classes
  • Watching professionals trading live
  • Trading performance coaching in real-time
  • Lessons dealing with the trading psychology

Performance Coaching Plan

Another essential part of the program is the so-called Performance Coaching. In this, you will have a monthly one-to-one-session with your Performance Coach who analyzes your trades and your mistakes, which offers you advice and guidance.

Your coach enables you to improve your skills even faster by identifying your strengths and neutralizing your bad habits even quicker.

TopstepTrader Performance Coaching

The Performance Coaching Plan includes the following:

  • Kickoff session of 30 minutes with your coach
  • Personal advice to go on developing your trading strategy
  • One free reset in Trading Combine per month
  • Daily meeting and weekly one-on-one
  • Private trader group chat

A monthly subscription to this additional plan will cost you another $395 per month during the TopstepTrader Trading Combine, while it is completely free once you are a funded trader.

TopstepTrader also offers Squawk Radio being hosted by Eddie Horn, a trader with more than 25 years of experience. This broadcast show is highly interactive and provides the listeners with perspectives on the markets, insights from respected professionals, interviews with experienced traders and continual updates.

TopstepTrader – Costs and Refunds

The most difficult challenge is to calculate the overall costs using TopstepTrader. In my opinion, it is tough for beginners, to understand the total costs.

One of the reasons is that the fees are not listed in clear cases on the TopstepTrader website. However, I found any information I was looking for using the online help center. TopstepTrader is not hiding information, while some of them are hard to find either.

Trading Combine Fees

The price per month for TopstepTrader’s Trading Combine is clear and listed. You will pay per month:

  • $165 with a starting balance of $50K
  • $325 with a starting balance of $100K
  • $375 with a starting balance of $150K

Those subscription costs recur every month until you either cancel your subscription or reach the funded account. You can reduce the price by 20% using our discounted links.

Reset Fee During the Trading Combine

$99 per reset during the Trading Combine: Within your trader dashboard you have the option “reset account.” Using this function your Trading Combine account will set back to the starting point.

This is being used in the case that a trader fails to trade by the rules. Traders who reset while being in step 2 of the Trading Combine, will stay in step 2. The fee is $99 per reset, and it is on top of the monthly fee.

Exchange Fees for Funded Traders

Once you trade the funded account, exchange fees apply (per month):

  • CME $116-$132
  • CBOT $116-$132
  • NYMEX $116-$132
  • COMEX $116-$132

Platform Fees During the Trading Combine and for Funded Traders

Some trading platforms cost money during the Trading Combine, others are free during the Trading Combine, but cost money using the funded account and others cost something in any case.

The trading platform TSTrader is always free of charge concerning the platform fee. Check out the trading platform section within this TopstepTrader review to see more details. Here are some impressions:

TSTrader Dashboard

TSTrader Indicators

TSTrader Chart Types

TopstepTrader Drawing Tools

Withdrawal Fees for Funded Traders

Once you are a funded trader, you can withdraw your money at any time. However, a fee of $50 applies if you decide to pay out an amount smaller than $500. There is no fee for wire transfers over $500.

Sample Business Cases

3-month membership for the Trading Combine with a starting balance of $50K, using 2 resets, never reaching the goals and using the TSTrader trading platform:

  • Membership cost: 3*$165=$495
  • Resets: 2*$99=$198
  • Trading platform: $0
  • Exchange fees: $0
  • Total costs: $495+$198=$693
  • Gross profit: $0.0
  • Net profit: -$693

3-month membership for the Trading Combine with a starting balance of $50K, using 3 resets, reaching the goal within 1 month, being a funded trader for 2 months with a profit withdrawal of $3,000 using TSTrader trading platform trading CME futures only:

  • Membership cost: 3*$165=$495
  • Resets: 3*$99=$297
  • Trading platform: $0
  • Exchange fees: 2*$132=$264
  • Total costs: $495+$297+$264=$1,056
  • Gross profit: $3,000 = $3,000 payout
  • Net profit: +$1,944

6-month membership for the Trading Combine with a starting balance of $50K, using 6 resets, reaching the goal in the second month, being a funded trader for 4 months with a profit withdrawal of $7,700 ($8,000 gross profit) using NinjaTrader license trading CME and CBOT:

  • Membership cost: 6*$165=$990
  • Resets: 6*$99=$594
  • Trading platform: $890 (lifetime license with $100 rebate for TopstepTrader users)
  • Exchange fees: 2*4*$132=$1,056 (2 exchanges, 4 months)
  • Total costs: $990+$594+$890+$1,056=$3,530
  • Gross profit: $8,000 = $7,700 payout ($5,000+($3,000*90%))
  • Net profit: +$4,170

Please understand that there are hundreds of potential calculations. The three mentioned above are only samples based on the pricing structure during the TopstepTrader review process. Using the linked discounted offers reduces the expenses.

Estimating the overall real costs upfront is impossible. Please do also understand that some of those fees would also apply trading futures with a regular broker.

TopstepTrader – Pros and Cons


  • Free simulated trial account with a starting balance of $150,000 for 14 days
  • No platform fee for TSTrader
  • Funded trading without any personal risk while trading TopstepTrader’s money and keeping the first $5,000 of your profits and 90% of profits thereafter
  • No credit card required to register for the free trial account


  • Performance coaching costs another $395 per month during the Trading Combine
  • Hard to calculate the total expenses
  • Funded traders are treated as professionals when paying the exchange fees which results in higher monthly fix costs for exchange data feeds
  • Not 100% transparency about the success rate ratio combine traders vs. funded traders
  • Only available for futures trading, and for forex via TopstepFX

TopstepTrader Promo Code

The availability of a free trial is a quality factor for every provider in any of our reviews. Especially for trading educators and funded trading account providers. TopstepTrader fulfills this quality feature and offers a free 14-day free trial.

Claim your free trial here:

Also, you can save 20% on your first order using this link: TopstepTrader 20% discount (Automatic discount on all account sizes upon checkout. Follow the link, select your account size and click Select. Now you see the confirmed 20% discount).

Provider Checklist

  • Founded: 2012 in Chicago
  • Number of members: funded over 10,000 accounts
  • Company Address check:
  • TopstepTrader, LLC 130 South Jefferson Suite 200 Chicago, Illinois 60661 1 (888) 407-1611
  • Free trial: Yes, 14 days
  • Free resources: Yes, Facebook Group, Podcast, Video Libary
  • Coupons and Promo Codes: Yes, 20%
  • User Experience based on internet research: Trustpilot TrustScore 4.3/5

Who Is TopstepTrader Best For?

TopstepTrader is best for investors with low capital looking for a chance to trade other peoples money for a share in profits. There is surely no doubt about it that it is a great and unique opportunity to become a funded trader.

Trading without any personal risk with TopstepTrader’s money and keeping the first $5,000 of the profit and later 90% of the money one will make is an interesting idea.

Keep in mind: To become a funded trader is challenging. Nobody will know before how long it may take to fulfill all requirements and if he will ever succeed in the end. The fastest trader needed only 15 days to become a funded trader. This is the absolute optimum and far better than the average.

TopstepTrader Review Summary

I like the free simulated trial account for 14 days that may give you an idea if you can reach the goal to move on. Especially the fact that there is no credit card needed during registration is positive.

TopstepTrader is transparent but could do a bit better providing more info about the overall costs with some examples. The in-house solution TSTrader is a robust platform for beginners because it’s the most cost-effective. It is well organized and has enough features to get a better understanding of the TopsteTrader program during the free trial.

TopstepTrader Quote Board

However, additional costs apply using other platforms. Furthermore funded traders are treated as professionals which leads to higher exchange fees. It is crucial to realize, that the scaling plan will become active in step 2 along with some other additional rules. Each of the rules must be adhered to at all times.

Year Funded Accounts Withdrawals Processed
Topstep Statistics
2018 1,020 n.a.
2019 1,764 n.a.
2020 6,033 $2,000,000+
2021 8,389 $3,000,000+ in the first 10 months

1,764 funded accounts in 2019 vs. 1,020 in 2018, and then 6,033 funded accounts in 2020. This sound very good, but unfortunately, nothing is known about the exact ratio between Trading Combine participants and funded traders.

In my opinion, TST is particularly suitable for people who are consistent and want to test with little risk whether they are made for trading or not. If you find out after 2 months that it has not worked, you have only invested a small amount of risk capital.

The free trial is the perfect risk-free starting point:

It is crucial to consistently end the program when you realize that trading is not for you. Failing with TST also indicates that this type of trading is not right for you. As I mention it in many of my posts, trading success is especially about preparation, trading by the rules and having sufficient funds in your account.

TopstepTrader focus is the second part, trading by the rules. The rules are very tough, and like trading a regular account, a rule break will hurt you. During the Trading Combine with additional costs for a reset. Moreover, while trading a funded account with a capital reduction in your account, plus a potential downgrade back to the combine.

So what is the master plan?

There is no master plan, but a no-risk or low-risk approach would be the only correct way

  • So you either skip this program or you subscribe to the free 14 day trial (no credit card required) and trade by the rules from day 1.
  • If you manage to make money trading by the rules during the first 14 days, consider accepting the challenge. If you fail, look elsewhere.
  • If you take the challenge, then you should never try more than 3 times to qualify for the funded account, because 3 failures are a clear sign that this is not right for you

TopstepTrader 14 Day Free Trial

TopstepTrader is the #1 of all funded trading account programs I know of. The company has a long history and well-developed products.

The challenge is hard but fair. The prices are high but manageable. The traded products are high risk, but the risk is within the trading account funded by TopstepTrader.

Funded Trader Feedback Statistics

  • 97% of funded traders say that TopstepTrader experience improved their trading
  • 63% of funded traders say that hey made between $1 and $10,000 profit
  • 83% of them say that they prefer TST accounts instead of their own
  • 77% of them say that risk management team improved their trading
  • 39% of their funded traders said that would never have had the opportunity to trade the markets without TopstepTrader.

Source: TopstepTrader statistics

TopstepTrader, The Chevron Logo, Topstep, TopstepFX, Trading Combine, Funded Account, and TSTrader are all trademarks of TopstepTrader, LLC.


TopstepTrader is the market leader in the funded trading account industry. Their pricing is the best, discounts are enormous, functionalities are outstanding, and the community is amazing.



About the Author

Alexander is the founder of and has 20 years of experience in the financial markets. He aims to make trading and investing easy to understand for everybody and has been quoted on Benzinga, Business Insider, Investors Business Daily, Newsweek, GOBankingRates,, and other major publications.