EditorPlugin in Godot – Complete Guide

Welcome to this tutorial on the EditorPlugin class in Godot 4, an incredibly versatile tool for developers looking to streamline their workflow and customize their experience within the Godot editor. Whether you’re just starting your journey in game development or you’re an experienced coder, understanding the EditorPlugin class can elevate your skills and open up new possibilities for how you create and manage your games. Throughout this tutorial, we’ll dive deep into what EditorPlugin is, its potential uses, and how learning it can benefit your projects in Godot. Prepare to enhance your Godot editor with personalized features and workflows designed to fit your unique development needs!

What is an EditorPlugin?

An EditorPlugin is a special type of Node within the Godot Engine that allows you to extend the core functionality of the editor. Godot is known for its flexibility, and with EditorPlugin, you can create custom tools, add-ons, or even modify existing editor behavior.

What is it for?

Developers use EditorPlugins for a variety of reasons:

  • To create tailored interfaces for node or resource types.
  • To integrate custom importers and exporters.
  • To develop specialized tools that complement the development pipeline.

Why Should I Learn About EditorPlugin?

Mastering EditorPlugin is a powerful way to:

  • Improve your productivity by automating repetitive tasks.
  • Customize the editor to better suit your project’s specific needs.
  • Share your plugins with the community or collaborate with team members by providing tools that standardize development processes.

By learning to utilize the EditorPlugin class, you’ll not only gain deeper inside knowledge about the Godot editor but also significantly contribute to the quality and efficiency of your game development process. Let’s move forward and start turning those ideas into reality by actually coding with the EditorPlugin in Godot 4.

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Creating a Basic EditorPlugin

To start, we need to create a basic EditorPlugin. Here is how you can set up a simple EditorPlugin in Godot 4:

extends EditorPlugin

func _enter_tree():
    print("My EditorPlugin is now active!")

func _exit_tree():
    print("My EditorPlugin is now inactive!")

In this example, the code prints a message to the console when the plugin is activated and another message when it is deactivated.

Adding Custom Buttons to the Toolbar

One common feature that developers like to add with an EditorPlugin is custom buttons to the toolbar. Here’s how you can achieve this:

func _enter_tree():
    var button = EditorPlugin.add_control_to_bottom_panel(Button.new(), "My Button")
    button.text = "Click Me"
    button.connect("pressed", self, "_on_button_pressed")

func _on_button_pressed():
    print("Button was pressed!")

This code snippet adds a new button with the label “Click Me” to the bottom panel of the editor and connects a signal so that when the button is pressed, it prints a message to the output.

Creating a Custom Dock

Creating custom docks can greatly increase the functionality of your editing environment. Here’s an example of how to create your own dock:

var my_dock

func _enter_tree():
    my_dock = preload("res://path_to_my_dock_scene.tscn").instance()
    add_control_to_dock(EditorPlugin.DOCK_SLOT_RIGHT_BL, my_dock)

func _exit_tree():

This example assumes you have a scene ready to be used as a dock, located at “res://path_to_my_dock_scene.tscn”. The dock is added to the bottom-left slot of the right docks and cleaned up properly when the plugin is disabled.

Responding to the Editor’s Signals

Godot’s EditorPlugin can also respond to the editor’s own signals. The code snippet below shows how you may connect to editor signals:

func _enter_tree():
    get_editor_interface().connect("scene_changed", self, "_on_scene_changed")

func _exit_tree():
    get_editor_interface().disconnect("scene_changed", self, "_on_scene_changed")

func _on_scene_changed(scene_root):
    print("The current scene has changed to " + scene_root.name)

Whenever you switch to a different scene in the editor, the `_on_scene_changed` function is called, indicating the newly opened scene.

Utilizing these snippets and concepts, you can begin building your own custom tools and extensions within the Godot editor, tailored to your needs or those of the wider Godot community. We’ll expand on these foundations in our upcoming parts, where you will learn to integrate even more complex EditorPlugin features.Fantastic! Now that we’ve got our toes wet with some basic examples, let’s dive deeper into the capabilities of EditorPlugin. These next samples will further enrich your plugin development skills.

Manipulating Nodes from the Editor

EditorPlugins are not just for adding UI elements to the editor. They can also be used to manipulate the nodes within the currently edited scene.

Here’s a simple function that iterates over all nodes in the current scene and prints their names:

func _print_node_names():
    var edited_scene = get_editor_interface().get_edited_scene_root()
    for node in edited_scene.get_children():

By calling `_print_node_names`, you’ll get an output of all top-level node names in your current scene.

Custom Inspectors

Custom inspectors can be created to change how properties are edited. Below is an example of how to create a simple custom inspector plugin:

extends EditorInspectorPlugin

func can_handle(object):
    return object is MyCustomNode

func parse_property(object, type, path, hint, hint_text, usage):
    if path == "MyCustomNode.my_property":
        var control = preload("res://MyCustomInspector.tscn").instance()
        return true
    return false

In this example, `MyCustomNode` is the type of node that you want to provide a custom inspector for, and `my_property` is the specific property of `MyCustomNode` that you want to customize the editing interface for.

Creating a Custom Resource Importer

If you’re dealing with custom assets, Godot allows you to create importers tailored for these resources:

extends EditorImportPlugin

func get_importer_name():
    return "my.custom.importer"

func get_visible_name():
    return "Custom Importer"

func get_recognized_extensions():
    return ["ext"]

func get_save_extension():
    return "res"

func get_resource_type():
    return "Resource"

func import(source_file, save_path, options, r_metadata):
    var resource = MyCustomResource.new()
    # ... import logic ...

    return OK

In this example, replace `ext` with the extension of the file you want to import, and `MyCustomResource` with the class name of the resource you are creating.

Exporting Custom Resources

Similarly, if you want to provide functionality for exporting custom resources, you can set up an exporter like this:

extends EditorExportPlugin

func _export_begin(features, is_debug, path, flags):
    # Setup before exporting resources
func _export_end():
    # Clean up after exporting

func _export_file(path, type, features):
    if type == "MyCustomResourceType":
        # ... export logic for custom resource ...
        return true
    return false

This is a scaffolding for a plugin that can be run during the export process, adjusted to your custom resource type denoted as “MyCustomResourceType”.

Implementing Undo/Redo

When building tools that modify the scene or its nodes, supporting undos can be crucial. See how to integrate with Godot’s undo/redo system:

func _some_edit_function():
    var undo_redo = get_editor_interface().get_undo_redo()
    undo_redo.create_action("Move Node")

    var node = get_node("MyNodePath")
    var previous_position = node.position

    undo_redo.add_do_method(node, "set_position", Vector2(100, 100))
    undo_redo.add_undo_method(node, "set_position", previous_position)


Here, `set_position` is the method which moves the node, and `Vector2(100, 100)` is the new position. This enables the action to be undone and redone as needed.

Through these enhanced examples, you are starting to see the greater landscape of possibilities offered by EditorPlugin in Godot 4. As always with Godot, creativity is your only limit; blend these essential building blocks to craft an editing experience that is as unique and effective as your game itself!Absolutely! As we progress with our EditorPlugin tutorial, we delve into some more advanced examples. These will empower you with the ability to craft a tailored and efficient development environment within the Godot Editor.

Integrating with the Scene Tree

EditorPlugins have access to the scene tree, which can be manipulated according to your needs. Below is a simple example of how you might add a new node to the currently edited scene.

func _add_sprite_to_scene():
    var sprite = Sprite.new()
    sprite.texture = preload("res://icon.png")

This example adds a new Sprite node with a preloaded texture to the root of the currently edited scene.

Listening to Network Signals

You can also integrate your EditorPlugin with the network functionality to perform actions like auto-updating assets from a server or cloud storage.

func _init():
    var http_request = HTTPRequest.new()
    http_request.connect("request_completed", self, "_on_request_completed")

func _fetch_latest_assets():
    var http_request = get_node("HTTPRequest")

func _on_request_completed(result, response_code, headers, body):
    var json = JSON.parse(body.get_string_from_utf8())
    # ... Handle the fetched information ...

In the given example, an HTTPRequest node is added to the plugin and is used to fetch the latest assets from a hypothetical URL.

Registering Custom Types

Registering custom types allows them to appear in the editor as if they were part of the core Godot engine.

func _enter_tree():

func _exit_tree():

Here, a `CustomNode` of type `Control` is added with its script and icon creating a custom type that you can now use like any other node in the editor.

Custom Theme for the Editor

If you want to give a custom look and feel to your plugins or even the editor itself, you can set a theme.

func _apply_custom_theme():
    var theme = Theme.new()
    theme.set_color("accent_color", "EditorStyles", Color(1, 0, 0))

The above code changes the `accent_color` used by the editor to red. You can customize nearly every aspect of the editor’s appearance with a variable like `theme`.

Modifying the Project Settings

EditorPlugins can also interact with ProjectSettings, allowing you to create tools for easier configuration of your project.

func _modify_project_settings():
    ProjectSettings.set_setting("application/config/name", "My Custom Game Title")

func _reset_project_settings():
    ProjectSettings.set_setting("application/config/name", "New Game Project")

This code can change the game’s window title as configured in the Project Settings, making it easy to modify project-wide configurations from your plugin.

Enhancing Editor Scenes with Gizmos

For a visual and interactive toolkit, using gizmos can provide an enhanced user experience. They are particularly handy for creating visual tools like level editors.

func _create_custom_gizmo():
    var gizmo = MeshInstance.new()
    gizmo.mesh = SomeGizmoMesh

func _on_scene_changed(scene_root):
    if scene_root.has_node("MyCustomNode"):
        var my_node = scene_root.get_node("MyCustomNode") 

func _create_custom_gizmo_for_node(node):
    # Logic to create and position gizmo related to the node

When the scene changes, if there is a node of type `MyCustomNode`, the plugin will create a gizmo for it, aiding in its visualization and manipulation.

By harnessing these advanced capabilities, your EditorPlugin can become an integral piece of your development process. Crafting plugins that fit your production pipeline can help you automate tasks, maintain consistency, and ultimately bring out the full potential of your project. With Godot 4, the sky’s the limit, and these examples only scratch the surface of what’s possible. Happy coding, and don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it!

Continue Your Game Development Journey

You’ve made incredible strides learning about the EditorPlugin class in Godot 4, but the journey doesn’t stop here! To continue honing your skills, exploring new capabilities, and truly mastering game development with Godot, we invite you to check out our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree. This collection of courses is designed to take you through the ins and outs of Godot 4, covering a wide range of topics from 2D and 3D assets to complex game mechanics.

Whether you’re starting fresh or looking to polish your skills, our Mini-Degree can support your learning path with its flexible, project-based curriculum. You’ll emerge with a strong portfolio and invaluable experience—keys to unlocking doors in the game development industry.

For those who wish to explore our broader range of tutorials and courses that cater to different aspects and versions of Godot, our Godot courses offer something for everyone. At Zenva, we’re committed to providing you with high-quality content that supports your growth from beginner to professional. Keep learning, keep creating, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll build next!


In this tutorial, you’ve waded through the fundamentals and progressed into advanced territory with Godot 4’s EditorPlugin. As you’ve learned, this powerful feature isn’t just about adding functionality—it’s about tailoring the Godot editor to fit the glove of your own unique development needs. You’re now equipped with the know-how to optimize your workflow, craft compelling tools, and push the boundaries of what you can create in Godot.

Remember that every great developer never stops learning, and with our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree, you’ve got a seat at the table with the best resources at your fingertips. Take your next step and join us on this exciting path of creation and discovery—where you’re not just playing games, you’re bringing them to life!

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