I’ve been promising this post for a while now, my apologies for the long wait! These are the settings I’ve personally used to see gains of up to 30% in a single day. Yes, that’s right, 30% on my entire account in one day! Keep reading to find out how!
I’ll be honest, using a DCA bot in a trend is not going to beat a buy and hold strategy. But for me it’s still my only option. For one, I don’t have time to day trade, so I’m not able to catch the trends. Second, I’m not (yet) a good trader. I get too emotional as soon as I see red and I do stupid things, and I’m just not that great at TA yet to know what trades to make. Thats why I use bots. They follow the rules, no emotions, and believe it or not end up making more money than if I traded manually. I just let the bots do their thing, even it means a few percentage points lower than what I could have achieved.
Understand Why You Need Bot Settings Specifically for a Trend
The real key to the bot settings in a trending market is to get as much of your reserve into the deal as possible before your TP hits. Consider your bot starting deals and taking profits on a coin during a strong uptrend. You bot starts a deal with your Base Order, say $100. Price is moving up fast. You hit your 1% TP in a few minutes with no Safety Orders getting triggered. The bot starts another deal, hits another TP, and so on. It’s an all up day, your bot kills it. Winning deal after winning deal. Right? Sort of.
Now consider your bots SO’s. How much of your funds sat in reserve and did nothing for you? To keep it simple, let’s say you had 9 SO’s, no martingale/volume step etc, and SO’s = BO at $100. That’s $900 in reserve, plus your $100 BO. That $900 never gets touched. Your bot has been making 1% on $100, ie $1 per deal. But you have another $900 in reserve, so you’re really making $1/$1000, or 0.1% on each deal. Most likely you’re using some volume step, and maybe even more SO’s, making your actual return percentage even worse.
I hope this makes it clear why the bot needs to be front-end loaded, with more BO, and having your SO’s trigger faster and earlier. Yes, there’s some risk in case of a reversal, so you need to watch your bots closely, turn them off and market sell as soon as you see a trend reversal. Then move on to the next. But trust me, this WILL make you money. Stay with me for the actual settings below.
3Commas Bot Settings
Let’s dive right in.
Main Settings and Pairs
Make sure you’re on the Advanced view when creating or editing a bot in your 3Commas account. Give a name for your bot, and select an account. I usually use a naming convention that helps me determine my bots main parameters. For example, 1INCH-Long-3X for a long bot trading 1Inch with a 3x leverage. You can use whatever makes sense for you.
Now select your account. Personally, I think FTX.com is the best trading platform and I now use them exclusively, give them a try if you haven’t yet. I’ve connected one of my FTX futures accounts as I usually trade FTX perps so I can use a bit of leverage. Check this post out for connecting your 3Commas account to your FTX account if you haven’t done so already. Note that with the futures account connection you can only select the Single-pair option under Bot Type. Even if you were using a spot account, use the Single-pair option as this method works best with this bot strategy.
For Pairs, choose the pair you want to trade. Here I’m showing 1INCH-PERP, only because it’s at the top of the list.
Select Long or Short, depending on which trend you’re chasing. The Profit Currency is fixed for futures in FTX, based on USD. Now set your Base Order size and Safety Order Size. It’s typical with most bot settings to have your SO something like 2X your BO. This helps your bot average down faster during pull packs. But we’re chasing up-trends here, so I like to keep my SO at 1.5x or even as low as 1x my BO to minimize my BO to reserve (or bot usage) ratio.
For the Start order type, I typically choose Limit. But if the trend is really strong, you’re going to miss out on deal starts as your bot is waiting for the deal to start at a price that’s no longer relevant. In these cases go with Market. If you do end up going with Market, you may need to adjust your take profit to account for slippage.
For Leverage Type, choose the option you prefer. On FTX there’s only Cross, but you connect through a sub account, so the cross margin only applies to that sub-account, not your whole FTX wallet or main account.
Using Leverage With Your 3Commas Bots
Let’s talk about leverage here for a bit. I mentioned hitting 30% returns in a single day. This was using stupid leverage – like 15x. It worked, but I can’t deny not getting liquidated on occasion, usually when I wasn’t paying attention. For a trending market, especially strong trending markets, by all means use some leverage. It will make a huge difference on your returns, but be very mindful of your ability to cut losses when things start to pull back. And pull backs will happen!! If you’re watching your bots all day, then you can try going to 5x leverage. If you can’t, stick to 2x, 3x if you’re feeling frisky! Keep in mind that at 3x leverage, your liquidation will be 33% below your average buy. 2x is at 50% below your average buy. 50% pull backs happen, but not often. 33% can, and will happen – so choose wisely.
There’s a trade-off here as well to consider. The higher the leverage setting, the more you need to put into safety orders to move your average buy price down, before hitting your LP. At 15x, your LP is 6.66% below your average buy price (100/leverage, eg 15x is 100/15=6.667%). You’ll need to squeeze a lot of SO’s in a short space of time to keep Mr. LP away. And with all those funds tied up in SO’s waiting in reserve, your BO to reserve gets worse, reducing your potential returns. Yes, that’s offset by the high leverage, but just one liquidation can wipe out your sub-account, or a huge chunk of it, making for days or weeks just trying to get back even.
The moral of the story, leverage, yes! But take it easy. Less is more.
Deal Start Conditions
I generally have done this manually using the Open new trade asap option. My flow would typically involve scanning through the one hour or 15 minute charts looking for a nicely trending coin or token, and when I find one I enable the bot and it runs until I disable it.
In the (hopefully) near future I plan to have my own python based trigger that would automatically find those tokens and enable the bots on the strongest trending pairs, making it truly hands off and passive. Until then, use the manual method. Having said that there’s another option I’ve used with Multi-pair bots on other exchanges will now work here as well.
Notice the Sell, Buy, Strong Buy, etc at the bottom?
Now, these signals can lag a fair bit, so relying on a single time-frame will not always trigger at the right time. It will work, but you will get caught at the end of trends, or trading the wrong direction on a higher time frame trend if you’re watching a low time frame buy signal. My recommendation would be to compound the signals, like this:
This method will minimize your bots trading a local or low time frame trend which might be against a higher time frame trend. I haven’t tested this particular setup in much detail, so please do your own testing using these triggers and adjust the time frames to your preference.
Take Profit Settings
For my take profit, I usually like fast trades, typically 1% TP for general/ranging market conditions. However in a trending market we can afford to bump this up a bit. I like 1.8%, but you could go higher for really strong trends or runners. Going a bit higher on the TP gives a couple of advantages for the bot in a trending market. First, it gives more time for more SO’s to execute – remember we want more of our reserve in the deal. You’ll see in the Safety Orders section below the SO’s are triggered extremely close since we want more of our reserve in the deal. If our TP is too low, it could get triggered before enough fluctuations in the price on the way up have time to trigger those SO’s.
Second, by having more of those SO’s trigger, our TP point moves closer to our opening buy price faster, closing the deal faster, and catching more of the trend in subsequent deals.
And of course, always set your Take Profit type to Percentage from total volume. I can’t see any good reason for only taking profit from the base order volume. Yes deals will close faster, but your total return will suffer overall.
Lastly, I prefer not to use the Trailing option. This is a trigger order type when used, so it’s not on the exchange order books until you reach your TP point. In a fast moving trend you might get caught with high slippage, or even a price wicking up (fat finger trade or whatever) triggering the TTP too soon, affecting your total profit on the deal. Trust me, I’ve seen TTP’s end up negative in really volatile trading. Leave Trailing off, your sell order will be on the exchange order books, and almost guarantees you make your TP target.
Stop Loss Settings
This has always been a love – hate thing for me. Personally, I prefer to manually bail out my red bags since I can easily still make my TP, and more, since I would put a large chunk into the deal to really pull that average buy price down near a resistance point. On the flip side though, there’s an opportunity cost to holding on to that red bag while you could be making profits on another, or even flipping short on the same bag. The other thing to keep in mind is if you’re trading with leverage you don’t want those deals to go too far into the red and getting yourself liquidated.
This will be a personal choice you have to make. If you want a suggestion, try this… If you’re low leverage, like 2x, or no leverage at all, forget the stop and manually bail out your red bags. Anything like 3x or higher, add a stop somewhere between your liquidation point and how far your SO’s work for you. So if your safety orders take you down to 8% deviation, and your leverage is 3x, so a 33% LP, then set a -15% or -18% SL. Keep in mind, at 15% SL that’s going to be 45% of your account wiped out at a 3x leverage, so watch these closely and adjust accordingly. Lastly, don’t forget this is for a trending market, preferably a strong one. Anything else is going to chop you up and leave you broke. Stay with 2x or no leverage if you’re not ready to lose or watch the market 24/7.
For the Stop Loss Action setting, set this to Close deal & stop bot. This way you’re not chasing a loser if your deal start conditions are still being met, and risking another SL hit.
Safety Orders Settings
The Safety Orders settings section is probably the most critical of all the bot settings. As you go through these settings keep an eye on the bot assistant, specifically the Max safety order price deviation value.
This is how far your bot is going to run SO’s down to. Maximum should be 10% for a trending market, and anywhere around 6% to 8% or so is ideal for me. This will change as you adjust the following settings:
- Max safety trades count – I like a value of 8 or 9 here. You can go higher, but this will mean more trades, which means more trading fees.
- Max active safety trades count – I’ve already explained why I match this to the Max safety trades count in this post. Not explained in that post is the fact that having the trade already on the exchange reduces slippage, or even missing orders if 3Commas has a glitch or is down for a while. I know some folks like to not do this and “double up” on their funds, but this is pointless and negates the point of using a bot.
- Price deviation to open safety orders (% from initial order) – Set this to 0.21%. The bar will drag to 0.2%, but you won’t be able to create or save the bot as the minimum is 0.21%. This setting here is the most important one. Keeping this low is what will get SO’s triggered often as the price continuously bounces up and down while following the trend – which is what we want.
- Safety order volume scale – I tend to use a value of between 1.2 and 1.4. The higher this value, the more funds your bot is going to use. It also helps bring your average buy price down quicker (in an uptrend) on pull backs. If you have the funds, go for a higher value. The minimum should be 1.2 or your SO’s aren’t going to be pulling the buy price down quick enough.
- Safety order step scale – Adjust this value to something higher than one. As you change this, it will change the Max safety order price deviation shown in the bot assistant. I mentioned above the value should be in the 6% to 8% range, up to 10% max. So adjust the step scale value to get within that range. For the configuration I have set, the value of 1.35% works.
I don’t use these settings for this type of bot, so leave this at the default settings.
Real World Test Results
Earlier this year I actually ran some very similar settings in a comparison test. In the test I ran two bots, all identical settings except for the Price deviation to open safety orders (% from initial order) and the Safety order step scale. Let’s call the two bots Linear and Progressive. The Price deviation to open safety orders was set at 1.0 for the Linear bot, and 0.21 for the Progressive bot. The Safety order step scale was adjusted to ensure the Max safety order price deviation between the two bots were the same. All other parameters were identical. Each bot was connected to a separate FTX sub account with $100 in each, and both traded the same token, 1INCH. No particular reason for this choice other than it was at the top of the list in the 3Commas bot creator. The test ran from April 24th to May 9th, slightly over two weeks. Here’s what 1INCH did in that timeframe on the one hour chart, for reference. Start and end dates highlighted by the vertical yellow lines:
Now here’s the bots performance super-imposed on each other. This is just a screenshot of the sub-account value over time for each bot. The blue line is the Progressive bot, the Green line the Linear bot:
You can see in the first third of the chart the Progressive bot outpaced the Linear bot, and the same in the last third. Both of these periods were uptrends, indicating the Progressive bot did perform better than the Linear bot.
In the middle section of the chart however, you can see the Progressive bot gave back some of it’s lead to the Linear bot, with the Linear bot just slightly overtaking the progressive bot between the 2nd and 3rd of May. This shows the Progressive bot is better only in a trending market.
Some last final numbers from this test:
- Progressive Bot – 60% Return in 15 days, 118 total completed deals.
- Linear Bot – 50% Return in 15 days, 164 total completed deals.
- No Leverage! – Yes you read that right, there was no leverage used on either bot.
To be honest, the total completed deals was a total surprise for me. I had expected the Progressive bot to close more deals since we were quicker at executing SO’s, but this obviously wasn’t the case.
How I Use This Bot
In a nutshell, I scan through a list of coins and tokens in TradingView, one by one, looking for a solid trend formation. Depending on how often you want to scan through your list, this will usually be a 15-minute, 1 hour, or 4 hour chart. I tended to do this every day, and used mostly the 1 hour chart.
For the list of coins, I have all the FTX perps in a single watchlist:
I click to load the first one on the list, take a quick look at the chart, then press the down arrow to move down to the next one, and so on. When I find a chart I like, I tag the symbol with a colored flag, and move on. It takes me a few minutes to get through all of them, then I filter by my colored tag and review again the ones I picked, making sure there’s no possible resistance areas or divergences that indicate the trend may slow down or even reverse. From there I create and/or activate the bots related to those perps, or a subset of the ones I chose.
Here’s the kind of structure I tend to look for:
I hope you’ve found this helpful, and apologies this took so long to post! I know there’s a ton of other bot strategies out there, all with different settings and goals, and all kinds of claims. I’ve found this setup to work extremely well in a trending market – which means you will need to pay attention to the markets and turn off any bots as the trend changes. It’s not completely passive, but you don’t need to watch your bots all day. I am working on a python script, similar to this – that detects pairs that are trending, ranks them, and automatically starts and ends the 3Commas bots – making it truly passive! I honestly think this will be THE game changer for passively managing bots that make killer returns!
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