You may be a little skittish about jumping into the market right now, but one of these three best stock simulators may take some of the pressure off by letting you play around with potential trades.

Markets are extremely volatile nowadays. All three major stock indexes are in bear market territory and the global economy is teetering on a recession — if not already there.

A lot of people looking to dip their toe in the investment waters is thinking twice and deciding not to dive in.

It’s a big decision to put your hard-earned money in the markets, mainly because there’s a good chance you will lose at least some of it.

One way to hone your investment techniques and develop a sound strategy is to use a stock simulator.

These are tools that allow you to invest virtual money in the real market to practice trading and learn more about how they work.

That’s why we have the three best stock simulators to get your feet wet as a trader.

3 Best Stock Simulators

1. How the Market Works

If you’re looking for an easy way to see what you can do with $100,000, How the Market Works is a good place to start.

It gives you $100,000 in virtual money and lets you to invest in whatever you want. This allows you to hone in on a strategy you might want to use with real money.

But there is much more to this website.

For example, you can create your own custom stock market contest for your class, a club or even for friends to compete and see who plays the market the best.

How the Market Works also comes with an education center complete with video lessons broken down into introductory, intermediate and advanced categories. So, no matter the level of investor you are, there are tutorial videos out there.

Another feature of the website is a section created for teachers and professors who want to teach their students more about investing and the markets.

One more thing about How the Market Works is contests pitting investors against each other for the shot at winning real cash.

It’s the education available on the site that makes How the Market Works one of the three best stock simulators to use.

2. Wall Street Survivor

The Wall Street Survivor website has three basic steps for those looking to use it as a stock simulator:

  • Learn — Read about different investment and personal finance topics when you want to.
  • Practice — Put what you have learned to the test with quizzes and a stock market game.
  • Earn — Your progress can earn you badges, virtual cash to use and other items.

Part of the Wall Street Survivor website is a menu of different trading strategies. It allows you to pick one and read all the educational information about the strategy. That helps you define what kind of a trader you are.

If you have a competitive spirit, the website includes various leagues you can join to compete with other investors. The top three traders in a sponsored league win actual money.

Like How the Market Works, the Wall Street Survivor comes with courses to help you get the hang of trading. The site boasts dozens of courses ranging from getting started in the market to diversifying your portfolio.

One other thing Wall Street Survivor has is a library of various articles and videos about different market subjects.

Its ease of use is what makes Wall Street Survivor one of the three best stock simulators to use.

3. thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade

In addition to being one of our best online brokers for stock trading, TD Ameritrade offers a robust platform in thinkorswim.

The platform allows traders to do their own stock analysis and even test their strategies before putting them in place. You can also sign up for an account with virtual money to practice your trading strategies.

So, basically, you can use the same tools the pros do.

Another benefit of thinkorswim is that once you have nailed down your techniques and strategies, it’s a seamless rollover to actual trading, using the exact same platform.

In terms of tools available, thinkorswim is one of the strongest in the game. But, because there are so many things at your disposal, it can be a little daunting to start. TD Ameritrade helps with that by giving the option to schedule a demo with one of its experts.

Like the other two on our list, TD Ameritrade comes with a full complement of educational resources and market research.

The fact that it is so powerful makes thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade one of the three best stock simulators to hone your skills.

If you’re looking to develop more as a trader or just get into the basics of playing the market, you have options at your disposal.

They all allow you to play with virtual money, which helps give you a real-life market experience without the risk.

So, before you jump headfirst into the stock market, check out at least one of our three best stock simulators.