Topstep, founded by Michael Patak in 2012, is a proprietary trading firm based in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Topstep’s credibility is reinforced by the experiences of thousands of traders globally, as reflected in Trustpilot by more than 2000 day traders. Topstep is known for its fairness, requiring only two trading days to pass the Trading Combine challenge with one critical rule: the Maximum Loss Limit.

Topstep is known for its fairness, and trustworthiness with a proven track record, has a large educational resources and community, and an important profit-sharing policy. However, Topstep is limited only to futures traders, and it is asking traders to reach a certain profit target and respect rules during the Trading Combine challenge.

Through its Trading Combine® program, the firm offers three account sizes: $50K, $100K, and $150K, each with varying profit targets and loss limits. Their prices range from $165 to $375 (find the last discounts and coupons below). When traders start a Trading Combine challenge, they will get credentials by email to log into the trading platform of their choice; Rithmic, NinjaTrader, or TopstepX.

Topstep’s Trading Combine® has one core rule: the Maximum Loss Limit, breaching which disqualifies funding. Objectives include surpassing the Profit Target, not exceeding 50% of this target in a day (Consistency Target), and adhering to a Daily Loss Limit, specific to each account.

In this article, we comprehensively review the Topstep prop firm and we offer essential information to help you begin an evaluation with Topstep.

what is Topstep?

Topstep is a proprietary trading firm that was founded in 2012 by Michael Patak. Michael Patak is a former floor trader. Based in Chicago, Illinois, USA, Topstep offers futures traders the opportunity to access funded accounts after successfully completing a rigorous evaluation known as the Trading Combine®.

A proprietary trading firm, known as a prop firm, trades with its own money in things like stocks and currencies. It does not use clients’ money. This means the firm can take more risks and doesn’t have as many rules as firms that trade with clients’ money. Prop firms hire experienced traders and use detailed strategies to make money. Traders in a prop firm first need to succeed in a funded trading program to use the firm’s money. This program tests their trading skills. If they do well, the prop firm gives them money to trade. This allows traders more freedom and the chance to make more money. The main goal of prop firms is to earn profits through their expert traders and their trading strategies.

who is Topstep’s founder?

Michael Patak - Topstep Founder

Michael Patak, born in Omaha, Nebraska, founded TopstepTrader (now Topstep) in 2012. He developed an early interest in trading, which led him to a career in futures trading. After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in Economics and Agricultural Business, he joined the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as a floor trader. Patak’s early trading career included significant financial losses, teaching him the importance of discipline and strategy. These experiences inspired him to create a platform for traders to develop skills without financial risk, leading to the establishment of Topstep.

What makes Topstep Legit?

Topstep, with its strong track record, is recognized as a legitimate proprietary trading firm, evidenced by its inclusion among America’s fastest-growing companies and processing over $14 million in trader payouts since 2020. Offering favorable terms through its innovative 1 Step 1 Rule Trading Combine, it provides easier access to funded accounts. The firm’s realistic trading simulation includes clear rules, such as a maximum loss limit and specific profit targets. Known for transparency and fairness, Topstep ensures equal opportunities for all traders, and its clear pricing and profit-sharing model further affirm its credibility, solidifying its position as far from being a scam.

Does Topstep send payouts to its traders?

Yes, Topstep sends payouts to its traders. Traders using Topstep can ask for a payout from the Topstep dashboard. They can get up to 50% of their account money after 5 days of good trading. it usually takes 7 hours to process. After 30 days of profitable trading, they can ask for all of their money anytime. Traders can use ACH (up to 10 days) or International Wire/SWIFT (3-5 days) to get their money.

Does Topstep have good User Reviews and Testimonials?

Yes, Topstep has Excellent user reviews and testimonials. On Trustpilot, Topstep has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, based on over 2,147 reviews. 76% of these reviews are 5-star ratings, 13% are 4-star ratings and only 5% of reviews claim that Topstep is a scam.

Does Topstep have good Customer Support?

Topstep is known generally for very good customer help. User experiences vary; while many find the support team responsive and helpful, especially via live chat, some have experienced delays or unresponsiveness, particularly over the email. For quick assistance, live chat during business hours is recommended. They are available via AI Chatbot (Windy), live chat or email. Email responses typically take 24 to 48 hours, but some users have reported quicker or slower times. Live chat is the fastest, often providing responses within 5 to 15 minutes.

what are Topstep’s advantages?

Topstep has 13 advantages. Here is a list of Topstep’s advantages:

  • Proven Track Record: Established in 2012, a reputable and experienced firm
  • Favorable Profit Sharing: 100% profit retention on the first $10k, then a 90% split.
  • Educational Support: Comprehensive educational materials for all skill levels and free group coaching.
  • One disqualifying rule: Traders are eliminated only if they hit the Maximum Loss Limit.
  • Flexible Profit Targets: No deadlines for achieving profit goals.
  • Clear, Competitive Fees: Known, low fee structure based on profit sharing, with favorable rates.
  • Reliable Customer Service: Effective support and a community forum for trader interaction.
  • Efficient Trading Platform: Features advanced tools for charting, analysis, and risk management.
  • Diverse Account Selection: 3 account options provide flexibility, from $50,000 to $150,000..
  • Free Trial: The firm offers a 15-day free trial to potential traders.
  • Low Fees for Funded Traders: A one-time $149 Activation Fee for the Express Funded Account.
  • Worldwide Access: Topstep is Available globally.
  • Many Withdrawal Options: Multiple ways to withdraw money including ACH/Wire Transfer and Check.

what are Topstep’s disadvantages?

Topstep has 6 disadvantages. Here is a list of Topstep’s cons:

  • Monthly Fees: Traders pay at least $150 every month to use Topstep.
  • Short-Term Focus: Topstep focuses on daily goals, not good for long-term traders.
  • Mixed Customer Support Reviews: Some traders find Topstep’s support inconsistent and slow.
  • Extra Costs: Traders might pay fees on some trades and for withdrawing money.
  • Winning Day Rule: Traders need five profitable days before taking out money.
  • Only Futures Trading: Topstep only offers futures trading, no other types.

What are Topstep’s pricings?

Topstep pricing varies from $165 to $375 depending on the chosen account size. The table below lists the fees for each account size:

OptionAccount sizePrice
Trading Combine®$50K$165
Trading Combine®$100K$325
Trading Combine®$150K$375

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Does Topstep offer price discounts?

Yes, Topstep grants discounts on their prices, ranging from 20% to 70%, including a 60% sale option. To receive these discounts, traders should use this Topstep discount link. When you click on the link, no coupon code is needed. The discount link is dynamic, it automatically reflects the most recent discount available upon use. Topstep applied The discount instantly upon purchasing the evaluation.

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Does Topstep allow multiple accounts?

Yes, Topstep lets traders have many accounts. Traders can use many Trading Combine® accounts at once with no limit on how many. All these accounts must be under one Topstep profile. Traders can also have up to three Express Funded Accounts and one Live Funded Account at the same time. But, Topstep can choose to not allow multiple Funded Accounts for any reason.

How does Topstep work?

Topstep’s process starts when traders register and pay the monthly fees for a Trading Combine® challenge, where they aim to hit profit goals without breaking trading rules. If they do well, they get a Funded Accountâ„¢. Here, they need to make $200+ on five different days and follow some rules. Good performance can lead to a Live Funded Accountâ„¢, decided by Topstep’s Risk Managers. In both accounts, traders can’t let their balance hit the Maximum Loss Limit, which can be tracked via the Topstep Dashboard. There’s a one-time fee for the Express account, but monthly fees for the other funded accounts. Traders can withdraw money if they have five winning days of trading. They trade day-to-day and close positions before 3:10 PM CT, using a range of Futures Contracts.

How to access the Topstep Dashboard

To access your Topstep Dashboard, you can log in by clicking the link provided on their website or by selecting the ‘Log In’ option. If you haven’t created a profile with Topstep yet, you can choose the ‘Sign Up’ option at the bottom of the login page. Once logged in, you’ll be able to access a range of tools and information on your Dashboard.

The Topstep Dashboard offers tools for managing trading accounts. It lets users switch between different account types, change settings, see daily trade reports, check money in the account, look at trading goals and rules, and find learning materials like podcasts, videos, and a calendar.

What are Topstep trading Rules?

Topstep’s trading rules in the Trading Combine® primarily focus on risk management and discipline. Key 6 rules include:

  1. Maximum Loss Limit: also called a Trailing Maximum Drawdown. Traders cannot allow their account balance to hit or exceed this limit, as it would disqualify them from funding.
  2. Daily Loss Limit: Exceeding the daily loss limit deactivates the account for that trading day.
  3. Consistency Target: A trader’s best day should be below 50% of total profits made.
  4. Permitted Trading Times: Positions must be closed daily before 3:10 PM Central Time (CT) and cannot be held overnight or through the weekend
  5. Permitted Instruments: Includes a range of futures such as equity, interest rate, currency, agricultural, energy, metal, and micro futures.

Topstep’s trading rules aim to teach traders disciplined risk management. These rules help traders develop lasting, effective trading habits, control their trades, and safeguard their capital.

The table below shows the profit target, the Trailing Drawdown value, and the contract size of every account size:

Account sizeProfit TargetTrailing DrawdownContract Size
$50K$3,000$2,0005 Minis
$100K $6,000$3,00010 Minis
$150K$9,000$4,50015 Minis

How does Topstep’s Maximum Loss Limit work?

Topstep’s Maximum Loss Limit is a rule that sets a minimum account balance, which changes based on your profits. It’s calculated from the highest end-of-day balance. For example, if you earn $500 in a $50K account, making the balance $50,500, your Maximum Loss Limit becomes $48,500. This limit won’t drop below $48,500 during that evaluation period. If your balance reaches $52,500, the limit moves up to $50,000 and stays there. The limit is recalculated at the end of each trading day. If you trade below this limit, your account gets liquidated, and you break the rule.

What are Topstep’s Trading Times?

Topstep’s Permitted Trading Times for the Trading Combine® are specifically for day traders. Positions must be closed daily before 3:10:00 PM Central Time (CT) from Monday to Friday, and trading can resume at 5:00 PM CT. On Sundays, trading can start at 5:00 PM CT. All positions, including pending orders, stops, and targets, must be closed by 3:10 PM CT. It’s important for traders to close positions themselves, as the Risk Managers’ flattening of trades at 3:08 PM CT is a courtesy and not a guarantee. Special holiday hours may also apply.

What are Topstep’s Instruments?

Topstep’s Trading Combine® permits trading in various CME futures contracts. here is a list of futures instruments allowed by Topstep::

  • Equity Futures (E-mini S&P 500, Micro E-mini NASDAQ)
  • Forex Futures (Euro FX, British Pound)
  • Agricultural Futures (Corn, Soybeans)
  • Energy Futures (Crude Oil, Natural Gas)
  • Financial/Interest Rate Futures (10-Year Note, Eurodollar)
  • Metal Futures (Gold, Silver)

This variety is particularly beneficial for traders looking to develop and test strategies in different market environments.

Topstep uses which trading platforms?

Topstep offers several trading platforms for its programs. here are the recommended platforms and additional platforms that a trader can use:

  1. Recommended Platforms:
    • TopstepX
    • NinjaTrader
    • Quantower
  2. Additional Platforms:
    • Tradovate
    • TradingView
    • T4
    • R|Trader Pro
    • ATAS OrderFlow Trading
    • MotiveWave
    • VolFix
    • Bookmap
    • Investor/RT
    • Jigsaw Daytradr
    • MultiCharts
    • Sierra Chart
    • Trade Navigator

Each platform may have specific compatibility with devices like Mac/iOS or mobile, and the platform chosen for the Trading Combine is used in funded accounts as well.

what is the TopstepX platform?

TopstepXâ„¢ is a special trading platform made by Topstep for people trading futures to get funding. It has:

  1. Advanced charts from TradingView®.
  2. A tool called Topstep Tilt Indicator to see market trends.
  3. It lets you trade 8 types of futures, like E-Mini S&P 500 and Gold.
  4. Works on computers using web browsers; a phone app is coming.
  5. Tools to help manage risks and simplify trading.
  6. No commission fees but has some other small fees.

TopstepXâ„¢ aims to improve trading for those in Topstep’s funding programs.

How To Set Up NinjaTrader 8 for Topstep?

To set up NinjaTrader 8 for Topstep, do these steps:

  1. Install R|Trader Pro: Download and log in to R|Trader Pro with your Topstep details. Choose TopstepTrader as the system and Chicago as the gateway.
  2. Check R|Trader Pro: Make sure ‘Market Data’ and ‘Plugins’ are on.
  3. Set Up NinjaTrader Account: Create a NinjaTrader account and add Topstep’s license key.
  4. Install NinjaTrader: Download and install the NinjaTrader software.
  5. Adjust NinjaTrader Settings: In NinjaTrader, under ‘Tools’ > ‘Options’, enable ‘Multi-provider’. Restart the software.
  6. Link Topstep to NinjaTrader: Add Topstep as a connection in NinjaTrader and turn on ‘Connect on Start-Up’.
  7. Start Trading: Connect automatically if ‘Connect on Start Up’ is enabled, shown by a green circle.

For detailed guidance, refer to the NinjaTrader Connection guide. If any errors occur, contact support@ninjatrader.com. NinjaTrader is also accessible on mobile devices via NinjaTrader Mobile.

Does Topstep allow Trade Copier?

Topstep allows the use of Trade Copiers, which are software applications that automatically copy trades from one account to another. Topstep support specific Trade Copiers like Tradovate Trade Copier, Rithmic Trade Copier, and Quantower Copy Trading. However, Topstep prohibits certain behaviors like manipulating trades, engaging in high-frequency trades, or hedging positions across multiple accounts. Accounts exceeding 200 total contracts in a day are reviewed for prohibited conduct, and violations can lead to account restrictions or bans​​​​​​​​​​.