Plugin vs Game module

Not sure where best to post this but I feel like perhaps this forum has the most related knowledge.

I’m not entirely clear on the differences between game plugins and game modules and when one or the other should be used. As I understand it, a plugin really shouldn’t have any dependencies on anything other than engine modules, and likewise nothing should have a hard dependency on a plugin. Is this correct? Whereas it is normal for a game module to have dependencies on other game modules.

One thing that is confusing me is that my assumption had been that plugins were essentially ‘editor plugins’, which extended the functionality of the editor, but were not included with packaged games. Now I’m not so sure about this…

Lastly, if I wanted to release something on the marketplace with C++ code (I know this is still work in progress), and I wanted the C++ classes to be available for the user to extend in their own C++ game modules, this would seem to preclude using a plugin. Is/will it be possible to put something on the marketplace which is to be incorporated as a game module, or is it plugins only?

Thanks for any clarification on this.

Not sure about the other two questions, but in terms of editor module vs plugin, here the first two paragraphs might give you some ideas. A new, community-hosted Unreal Engine Wiki - Announcements and Releases - Unreal Engine Forums

He knows. this post is half a year old.

GameModule supports hot-reload, but Plugin Module does not.

It seems you can infact hot reload a plugin module now. Try “moduel recompile YOUR_PLUGIN_MODULE”.