Prohibited Conduct

At all levels of the Topstep program, there are some behaviors that traders are prohibited from doing and others that traders need to notify Topstep about. This is to maintain the integrity of our program as well as the integrity of the Simulated Environment.


Prohibited Conduct exists to deter gambling behaviors, prevent circumvention of the rules, and get unrealistic fills on their orders. The Trading Combine® emulates live-market trading, and we would not be doing the right thing for traders if we allowed them to pass in a manner that would not be successful in a live market.

There are two main categories of Prohibited Conduct; behaviors that traders are prohibited from doing or behaviors that traders need to notify Topstep about.


Rules and Prohibited Conduct refer to actions that may not be taken in your Topstep account. However, Prohibited Conduct is handled differently from Rules. Rules have a set outcome if they are violated. However, Prohibited Conduct is handled on a case-by-case basis. 

Potential actions taken in response to a violation include:

  • A simple warning
  • Deletion of the impacted trading day
  • A reset of your account
  • The permanent closure of your account 

Prohibited Conduct violations will NOT result in a fee to reset your account. Ultimately, the action Topstep takes will depend on the infraction’s severity and your prior history (or lack thereof).


  • Using any trading strategy intended to exploit or create errors in the Services such as errors in the display of prices or delay in their updates;
  • Using any trading strategy that includes disruptive practices, including but not limited to spoofing strategies;
  • Trading excessive or unrealistic number of contracts in the day;
  • Performing trades any time outside the best bid or offer;
  • Performing trades using an external or slow Data feed;
  • Performing, alone or in concert with any other persons, including between connected accounts, or accounts held with different Topstep Parties, trades, or combinations of trades, the purpose of which is to manipulate, abuse, or give User an unfair advantage while using the Site or Services, for example, by engaging in any short term or high-frequency trades or simultaneously entering into opposite positions;
  • Performing trades in conflict with the terms and conditions of Topstep of the User Section and the terms and conditions of the Trading Combine®;
  • Using any software, artificial intelligence, ultra-high speed, or mass Data entry which might manipulate, abuse, or give User an unfair advantage while using the Site or Services;
  • Otherwise performing trades in contradiction with how trading is actually performed in the applicable futures markets, or in a way that establishes justified concerns that Topstep might suffer financial or other harm as a result of User’s activities;
  • In concert with others, including between unconnected accounts and third parties, performing the same trading strategy (i.e., performing the same trades in the same time increments), opposite strategy, or other activity mean to pool o hedge risk of the aggregate, unconnected accounts;
  • Using any instruments that may adversely affect the operation of the Site and Services or that would be intended to misuse any errors, bugs, or other deficiencies of the Sites and Services;
  • Circumventing geographical restrictions of availability or any other technical restrictions;
  • Holding a position within 2% of a product's lock limit;
    • Topstep prohibits trading within 2% of a price limit. For more information, please read through this article.
  • Trading on behalf of others including but not limited to sharing any incentives as part of any business arrangement; or
  • Engaging in other conduct which in the sole discretion of Topstep, represents uncommercial activity, is intended to game the market, or otherwise is not a viable trading strategy.

Products may be traded during normal electronic trading hours unless otherwise indicated. The Daily Loss Limit is an objective for your account and, if broken, does not count as a rule violation. If the Net P&L should hit or exceed the Daily Loss Limit during the trading day (5:00 PM CT-3:10 PM CT), the account will hit a soft breach and will be auto-liquidated for the remainder of the then current trading session. This means any open trading positions will be flattened, any pending orders will be canceled, and your account will be prevented from placing any new trades until the start of the next trading day (5:00 PM CT).


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