What are Zig Zag Indicators

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The foreign exchange (forex) market is a dynamic and ever-evolving financial ecosystem that sees traders from around the globe actively participating in the buying and selling of various currencies. One of the most crucial aspects of forex trading is the ability to identify market trends and make informed decisions based on the information at hand. To assist traders in this endeavor, a wide range of technical analysis tools and indicators have been developed. One such tool is the Zig Zag indicator, which can be a valuable asset for traders looking to enhance their trading strategies.

What are Zig Zag Indicators?

The Zig Zag indicator is a type of technical analysis tool that helps traders visualize and identify the overall trend direction in a currency pair. Developed by Art Merrill, this indicator is designed to filter out market noise and emphasize significant price movements, making it easier for traders to spot trends and reversals. The Zig Zag indicator achieves this by connecting the swing highs and swing lows in the price chart, thus creating a series of “zig-zag” lines that highlight the market’s direction.

The primary purpose of the Zig Zag indicator is to simplify price action and provide a clearer view of market trends. This is achieved by focusing on major price movements while ignoring minor fluctuations that are considered irrelevant to the overall trend. As a result, the Zig Zag indicator can help traders identify support and resistance levels, chart patterns, and potential market entry and exit points.

How the Zig Zag Indicator Works

The Zig Zag indicator functions by measuring the percentage change in the price of a currency pair, comparing it to a predetermined threshold value. This threshold value, known as the deviation percentage, is an essential parameter that determines the sensitivity of the indicator. If the percentage change in price exceeds the deviation percentage, the indicator will plot a new “zig” or “zag” line connecting the swing high or low to the current price.

A higher deviation percentage will result in fewer lines being plotted, as only more significant price movements will be considered relevant. Conversely, a lower deviation percentage will increase the sensitivity of the indicator, capturing smaller price fluctuations and plotting more lines.

It is important to note that the Zig Zag indicator is not a predictive tool, as it merely highlights historical price movements. However, it can be effectively used in conjunction with other technical analysis tools to develop a comprehensive trading strategy.

Using Zig Zag Indicators in Forex Trading

Incorporating the Zig Zag indicator into your forex trading strategy can be beneficial in several ways:

  1. Identifying Support and Resistance Levels: The Zig Zag lines can help traders spot potential support and resistance levels in the market. These levels are critical as they can indicate potential entry and exit points for trades.
  2. Recognizing Chart Patterns: The Zig Zag indicator can also be useful in identifying common chart patterns, such as head and shoulders, double tops, and double bottoms, which can provide further insight into the market’s direction.
  3. Confirming Trend Reversals: By analyzing the Zig Zag lines, traders can get a better understanding of whether a trend is about to reverse or if it will continue. This information can be crucial when making decisions about opening or closing positions.
  4. Combining with Other Technical Analysis Tools: The Zig Zag indicator can be effectively combined with other technical analysis tools, such as moving averages, Fibonacci retracements, and oscillators, to create a comprehensive trading strategy.


The Zig Zag indicator is a valuable tool for forex traders, providing a clearer visualization of market trends and assisting in the identification of support and resistance levels, chart patterns, and potential entry and exit points. Although the indicator is not predictive by nature, it can be effectively combined with other technical analysis tools to develop a comprehensive trading strategy, enhancing a trader’s ability to make more informed decisions and potentially increase their profitability. By understanding how the Zig Zag indicator works and incorporating it into a well-rounded trading strategy, traders can better navigate the complex world of forex trading, capitalize on opportunities, and minimize risk. Ultimately, the Zig Zag indicator serves as a powerful tool that can help traders better understand market trends and make more confident decisions in the ever-changing forex market.