Skip to main content

Top 5 Ways to Get Started Developing as a Topstep Trader For Free:

For traders who aren’t quite ready to jump into the Topstep Combine, these free resources can pack a powerful punch. Even for those currently in the Combine or already funded can find value in many of these resources for ongoing education and support.


In my opinion, this is the best possible place for Topstep beginners to initially get started. With all the different forms of content, there’s so much for you to learn not only from the Topstep performance coaches, but actual Topstep funded traders as well.

Here are some examples of the types of videos being posted regularly on the Topstep YouTube Channel:

  • Daily Market Forecasts With John Hoagland Each Weekday at 8AM CT
  • Daily Market Recaps With Dan Hodgman Each Weekday at 3PM CT
  • Coach’s Playbook With Several of the Performance Coaches Every Tuesday at 11:30 AM CT
  • Interviews With Topstep Funded Traders From Around the World

These videos will get you familiar with many of the Topstep performance coaches, including John Hoagland, Dan Hodgman, Mick Ieronimo, Jack Pelzer, John Doherty, and even the Topstep Founder and Chief Visionary Officer – Michael Patak.


After watching some Topstep YouTube videos, the Topstep Facebook Community and weekly Group Coaching sessions allow you to interact with thousands of other traders. The Facebook Community alone has thousands of members from hundreds of countries.

Topstep Facebook Community

There’s no doubt that trading can be a lonely and difficult endeavor – and not many people outside of the trading community truly understand what it takes to succeed. So these opportunities to socialize and receive mentorship can make a huge difference.


The Topstep Blog mainly features Weekly Kickoff Levels each weekend from Senior Performance Coach, John Hoagland. Within these posts, John identifies trends and areas of importance in various futures products like crude oil, gold, and S&P 500.

Topstep Blog

I highly recommend John’s analysis to be paired with his Daily Market Forecasts on YouTube each weekday morning at 8AM in order to follow his most up-to-date reactions to what’s happening in the markets. After all, the markets are constantly changing.

These are incredible insights from an experienced trader with roughly 40 years of futures trading experience under his belt.


The Limit Up! Podcast is hosted by 2 Topstep Performance Coaches – Dan Hodgman and Jack Pelzer. It has nearly 200 episodes to choose from on various trading topics. This podcast is similar to the Coach’s Playbook series on Topstep’s YouTube channel.

This is yet another Topstep resource to hear professional traders discuss market corrections, inflation, avoiding burnout, trading psychology, meme stocks, strategies, daily routines, and various other topics relating to life as a trader. Here are a few examples:


This brings us to the absolute best free resource of all – the 14-Day Topstep Futures Free Trial. The free trial allows you to trade various futures products within a $150,000 simulated account using the TSTrader platform powered by Tradovate.

Topstep Trader Free Trial Offer

While I think this is the best free resource because it provides a sneak peak of the Topstep Dashboard and what it would be like to go through the Combine and get funded – I don’t necessarily think new traders should be diving straight into it cold.

Develop the Trading Skills to Pass the Topstep Futures Combine With Top-Rated Training → Trade With Profile

I would personally save the free trial for after taking full advantage of the previous four resources and going through a high-quality training program to legitimately prepare. By doing so, the free trial can be used as a warmup right before the Combine.

#1 Rated Trader Training Program For Developing Real Market Edge - Trade With Profile

Unfortunately, there is no free trial opportunity offered for the Topstep Forex program at this time – only Topstep Futures.

Living The Topstep Mantra – “Always Trade For Tomorrow”:

Not only does Topstep provide an amazing opportunity for virtually anybody serious enough about trading to get funded by passing their objective Combine, but I think the underlying message they send to traders is phenomenal – “Always trade for tomorrow”.

What this means is that no decisions you make today should prevent you from trading tomorrow. The sad reality is that far too many individuals make just one or two impulsive and irrational trading decisions that end up knocking them out of the markets for good.

|Check Out How the Topstep Combine Works – Profit Targets, Rules, and More|

Topstep Trader Review - What is Topstep Trader?

|Learn How to Get Funded With a $50,000 – $150,000 Futures Trading Account|

But at Topstep, the educational resources and support are all about risk management, self-control, and living to trade another day. No shiny object or thrill is worth being eliminated from the game. In the end, it’s all about building good habits for longevity.

If there was one major complaint I have about Topstep, it would be that they don’t offer any courses for traders to go through in order to prepare them for the Combine. They offer many helpful resources (as discussed above), but no structured, step-by-step courses.

Regardless, Topstep provides a safe environment for traders to learn and potentially get funded with large five or six-figure trading accounts. I highly recommend leveraging the posts, podcasts, videos, coaching, community, and free trial opportunities.

Let me know if these free Topstep resources have helped you become a better trader and possibly even get funded.

Check Out My Free Trading Success Framework Course

Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)

Related Pages:

Matt Thomas

Founder of, Creator of the Trading Success Framework Course & Trading Paradigm Skool Community, and Intraday Futures Trader Using Auction Market Theory & Profiling (Volume & Market Profile).


  • LC says:

    This is a very informative review on Topstep and starting the free trial. Anybody that wants to start trading and investing, can benefit from training to help you build good habits and guide you through the possible pitfalls of trading. So these YouTube videos and podcasts are a great resource.  

    You mention however that Topstep doesn’t provide any training courses to prepare you for the Topstep Combine. So can you recommend a course that would help one before you start Combine? Or would the videos and podcasts be enough? Thank you. 

    • Matt Thomas says:

      I appreciate your comments – and great question!

      You’re correct – Topstep does not offer a specific course or anything like that for traders to take before going through the Combine. They do offer all the things mentioned above – podcasts, funded trader interviews, group coaching, free trial, etc. Which are helpful – don’t get me wrong. But I definitely think new/developing traders could benefit from a more structured training program before going through the Combine. Kind of like how Merritt Black at Apteros Trading offers his NADRO training program – which traders can go through to build a strong framework for success on his prop desk (if they want to) before attempting the tryout. That’s the type of training program I think Topstep is missing.

      What I would recommend first and foremost is for new traders to go through my free Trading Success Framework course in order to understand what trading truly entails – and decide if it’s something they genuinely want to pursue. And if they do that, then they can take their training and development to the next level with a premium course like NADRO or something similar. There’s a lot to learn from the resources provided by Topstep – and I even think the Combine (even if not fully prepared) can help teach some great lessons in a realistic trading environment with little to no risk – but a solid training program definitely wouldn’t hurt. In my opinion, it would only help improve the performance of their traders – and ultimately, help them make more money (more traders with strong skills getting funded faster and capturing larger profits). Maybe they’ll launch a training course/program in the future.

  • Ben says:

    As I’m not a big fan of day trading myself as it’s an easy way of losing a lot of money if not all your money if your not careful. On the other hand though it can make you very rich if you know how to play the market. 

    This article and site is a sure fire way of getting information on how to start though. Especially the free ways!! IT still hasn’t peaked my interest enough to want to personally do day trading but for those that are so inclined I actually think this is a good opportunity to don’t miss out on this.

    • Matt Thomas says:

      Hi Ben – trading is definitely an easy way to lose money for individuals who are untrained/unprepared. That’s why I heavily endorse proper education, training, and mentorship before diving into the markets. But even still, only a small handful of people actually do it.

      In regard to Topstep specifically, it’s one of my favorite programs because it promotes risk management, discipline, and always “trading for tomorrow”. There’s also very limited downside for individuals trying to earn relatively large $50,000 to $150,000 accounts. Spending $500 to $1,000 on the Topstep Combine can potentially result in earning a six-figure funded account. Many new traders decide to use their own capital to trade, and without any real training or an ability to follow their own self-imposed rules – it typically doesn’t go very well. Most end up losing a lot more of their own money (sometimes tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars) when they could’ve traded in a relatively safe environment at Topstep.

  • Parameter says:

    Thank you for all of this useful training and resources on Topstep. I am keenly interested in trading but have watched this juicy platform from afar because of the risk associated with it. But with you detailed resources I will give it a trial. Also I have bookmarked your website so that I can always come here for help 

    • Matt Thomas says:

      Hi Parameter – thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      As far as risk in trading goes, I would say a funded trader program like Topstep is actually one of the least risky avenues for traders to take. Since you’re trading with simulated capital (in a free trial or the Combine) and firm capital in a funded account, there’s very limited risk involved. In fact, you don’t need to use any of your own money to trade with. The rules put in place for risk management also promote structured, disciplined trading. Of course there are some relatively low costs involved with the Combine (roughly $300 per month depending on account size), and after getting funded there is a risk of losing your account for breaking rules, but other than that the only other risk is your time.

      I personally think it’s best to go through a high-quality training program first in order to acquire the education and skills necessary for long-term success – and that’s usually where the largest costs should be incurred. And then after that is when a funded trader program can really be put to use. Unfortunately, many hopeful traders try to bypass proper training and it ends up costing them much more in trading losses (diving in untrained and unprepared). For individuals who aren’t completely committed to the training process, there’s virtually no shot at long-term success. Hobbyists don’t typically make it very far. You have to treat trading like a serious skill-based, peak-performance endeavor to be successful.

Leave a Reply