Updated in October 2021: We keep this post updated with the latest recommendations, new picks, and more information.
Customize your media player with this guide.
Not everyone is tech-savvy, a software enthusiast, or an open-source advocate. Let’s face it. Most people have a life. So to keep it simple, we decided to create this stress-free guide to satisfy your comfort zone of leisure and entertainment. We collected some basic Kodi concepts to help you embrace the media hub and its magical addons, one click at a time. Are you ready?
For starters, we wanted to remind you of the major differences between addons and builds. In short, if you need to keep it simple and straightforward, manually selecting your own addons is the way to go. But some benefits of using builds are that they have the coolest designs – although not always the most user-friendly -, and by downloading only one build, you get a package that already includes many addons. We will leave your priorities up to you. But in the meantime, these are some aspects worth highlighting:
|Customizations||Are selected and downloaded one by one.||Include a pre-selected group of addons.|
|Settings||The user changes Kodi’s settings directly.||The user has to change Kodi’s settings and the build’s settings.|
|Design||Kodi includes a skin switcher to personalize its look.||Builds have more fun and distinctive looks.|
|Space||Addons require less hard drive space and RAM.||Builds require more hard drive space and RAM.|
|Security||The user has more control over what is being downloaded to Kodi since the selections are made one by one. This helps keep privacy stronger.||The user has less control over what is being downloaded to Kodi since the build includes a lot of pre-selected addons and features. This raises security concerns.|
|Virtual Private Network||Protecting yourself using a VPN is strongly recommended when using either addons and builds. This will keep the data that your device sends over the internet private.|
When creating this list, picking one addon over the other and deciding which ones were the best was not a straightforward task. Deciding “what’s the best” is a tough mission since we understand that every user has different priorities and interests. Plus, the technology behind Kodi and its extensions is constantly changing. So please keep in mind that while this list has been tested and reviewed, the characteristics and existence of the addons might change in a matter of weeks or even hours.
What is key is understanding that you don’t really need an infinite amount of addons. Choosing three add-ons per type of entertainment or less is the recommended amount. The main add-on categories out there are films & TV shows, cartoons & animation, live TV & news, music, sports, gaming, international films, and maintenance tools. It might take some time until you figure out the addons that suit your preferences best, but once that is achieved, you can clean up your list and commit to your favorite ones – ideally prioritizing the addons that deliver high-quality streams and that have been consistently working. Other aspects to analyze when choosing your addons are design, user experience, speed, and security.
Kodi allows you to combine various viewing streams from different sources. Do you remember when you were only a kid, and a relative took you to a toy store? Surely, you felt the adrenaline rush upon seeing an uncountable number of toys. Some of them were hard to reach, and others were hard to understand. You see ones that were colorful and noisy, and some were even tempting. But you were shy to say so out loud. Yes, a beautiful experience, but also an overwhelming one. Chaotic, disappointing, confusing – who didn’t cry at Toys 4 U?
Just like a toy store, Kodi is an open-source space, although with things that you can actually acquire because it is designed to be publicly accessible. It works well with most devices, like TVs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, and can be installed on Linux, OSX, Windows, iOS, tvOS, and Android. The magic behind using addons (or add-ons, same magic) is that it makes the experience enjoyable because you use the addons to curate it. You personalize the content you will interact with, and since you’re an adult now, there’s no reason to be shy.
With this “Top 10 List,” we expect to satisfy your inner child’s basic needs, or at least the digital ones. Below it, you will find a Bonus Track List because we know you can get picky sometimes! And there’s nothing wrong with that. What matters is that you walk the virtual hallways and take your time to find the toys that make you happy. I mean, in 2021, we all deserve some comfort, right?
The Oath’s interface is easy to use, and some of the premium accounts that this extension features include premium accounts, which gives access to a lot of movies and shows in high video quality. This add-on is one of the most popular ones and is compatible with the newest versions of Kodi, like Kodi 19 Matrix and 18 Leia.
Seren is a Kodi addon created in 2018 that provides films and TV Shows. It is compatible with Kodi 19 and streams high-quality content, old and new. Seren’s popularity is rising because it has many media navigation options and is easy to use. You can even filter content by television network, plus it has Autoplay and Up Next options. The only challenge is that after installing Seren you need to open a Real Debrid or Premiumize account, but you can download a zip folder that includes everything in the same package. This means that the installation is done once, and then you need to activate them through the settings. Believe me, the hassle is worth it because you will also need these accounts for many other addons. Plus, it offers a lot of content and outstanding quality at a great speed.
Are you ready to swim with sharks and discover the Amazonia on the same day? Say no more! For this list, we are avoiding addons that belong to preexistent networks or that mimic their names and logos because we value originality. That being said, we made some exceptions because we are innovative, but we are also a little old-school. And when it comes to prestige combined with the best films about science and wildlife, we don’t need to explain why this add-on made it to the top ten.
Another exception to the “not so original addons” is YouTube. The addon might not be innovative, but the content creators behind this platform definitely are. Let’s face it! Thanks to the generous virtual mentors that invest their imagination and patience to help us out, humanity has made its way through the 21st century.
If watching Goofy, Ariel, and Simba is not enough for you, we selected this combo addon that provides the entire Disney+’s catalog and the best Indian, Hindi, and Bollywood movies. Your imagination has probably already expanded after watching “Fantasia,” and you heard “Let it go” about a thousand times. But if you didn’t have the chance to fall in love watching “Lootera” (2013) and “Masaan” (2015), now you can thank the Hotstar half of this extension.
Sometimes television works like a pacifier, and some parents consider it a virtual nanny that helps them during a long day of video calls – working from home, right? We got you! Just keep in mind that this Kodi addon streams from a selection of YouTube channels, so you will need the YouTube Kodi addon as well.
Addons that stream cable channels and news are the types of addons that we recommend spending more time with. The goal is to decide which are the best ones for you in terms of location, language, and ideology. Let’s be honest, we need to be critical about the sources we choose to help us stay informed, and this is a personal decision. Maybe you only want to see reality shows from Asia or just news from Europe, or perhaps you want global information about technology and finance. ACME LiveNet made it to the list because we think it is an excellent generic server that streams channels from various countries. We also really like their interface since it lets you filter channels by topic, and considering the overwhelming amounts of channels out there, it makes it easy to interact with.
The ApeX Sports Kodi Addon is a new extension for live sports and replays. Sections include live sports, live TV, replays, and highlights. Some of the sports you can find in the ApeX Sports Kodi Addon are NFL, NBA, NHL, UFC, motor racing, and so on.
Looking for some “future nostalgia”? As the British say, we are quite “two-halves” here. For this list, we prioritized innovation but still left room for some classics. As its name implies, the Retroplayer Kodi addon streams the best old-school video games, and it is a native Kodi feature that made its debut in Kodi version 18. Travel in time and play Street Fighter, Crash Bandicoot, Pac-Man, and many other retro games. Plus, if you have a compatible controller, you can configure it to work with Kodi for a better gaming experience.
You clean your house’s windows every once in a while, right? Well, with a similar frequency, you will need to clean up your Kodi app. The Aliunde Maintenance Wizard will be your duster to clear caches, thumbnails, perform backups, and more. Sorry! We don’t mean to make you work, but it’s for the best so that the speed and the space in your devices work smoothly. Likewise, it is also a good idea to keep your virtual space tidy for security and privacy reasons.
Before you keep on reading, there are three concepts about addons that we need to remind you.
|Types of Addons||Official Addons: These addons are included in the official Kodi repository. They respect copyrights and other legal restrictions and give you access to legitimate streaming services.
Third-party Addons: These addons break barriers to bring you media content, which is why they are often taken down.
As with everything tech, you need to be patient and find the newest working versions of addons.
|Hosts||Hosts are the digital locations that keep the media files, and in some cases, you will need to create an account in order to access them. So if an addon doesn’t work, it could be because you didn’t pair it with the host – but usually, this will be explained in the installation instructions.|
|Virtual Privacy||Different countries have different laws. Knowing the copyright rules in your region is key. Ask yourself how you protect the privacy of everything that is received, downloaded, and sent through your internet connection.|
For all these reasons, it is a good idea to install two or three different addons per type of content. Below, you will find the Bonus Track List with more alternatives. Enjoy!
Gaia provides a lot of stream options in HD and SD quality for all content. Its interface is very friendly and easy to read. Simply pick a category and start streaming your favorite media.
This addon is slim and easy to use. It is very fast and has a user interface that allows you to find the films and shows that you want within seconds. At the moment, Tempest is working quite well for free users that don’t have premium accounts.
Exodus Redux is one of the most popular Kodi addons and one of the best alternatives if you are looking for an addon that offers Movies and TV Shows with great quality.
Seeker has a huge catalog of documentaries about science, technology, and culture in high quality. However, keep in mind that this addon only pulls content from Seeker’s YouTube channel. If you’re already using the YouTube addon you may prefer to stream Seeker from there.
FANime is the perfect Kodi Addon for lovers of anime movies and TV series. It is located within the Stream Army Repository, which contains other addons such as Entertain Me and Nemisis AIO.
If you’re using the original WatchNixtoons to watch anime and cartoons, you might want to try this version since it is very similar to the first one, but the streaming sources are more accessible.
PBS Kids offers a huge range of family-friendly content. With the PBS Kids addon, you can watch over 30 different shows on-demand, many of which have several episodes available.
This addon is great for your Kodi media center to watch live TV over the internet. Some of its sections include documentary, entertainment, news, and sports. It streams from TV channels from different countries, mostly the USA, the UK, Italy, and Germany.
The videos on Xumo.Tv play in up to 1080p. You can stream networks such as NBC, ABC, CBS, Bloomberg, Newsy, and Cheddar. Xumo.Tv offers an on-demand library where you’ll find newscasts, and TV shows, among others.
This addon provides an interface to access the BBC iPlayer website from Kodi.
This addon is great for live sports and replays from the United States. The main sports are NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL. It also provides sections for additional sports like soccer, wrestling, MMA / UFC. Side note: can we take a minute to contemplate Mad Titan Sports’ beautiful logo?
This addon helps you catch live streaming of various sports events, including NBA, Football, Soccer, Baseball, Tennis, Rugby, UFC, and more. It also has a very straightforward menu that separates live events in a different folder and folders that stream by sport.
With this addon, you can play sports highlights and live sports channels. In the IPTV/Live Sports TV section, you will find many working streams. However, as with all Live TV addons, you may run into some offline channels or some delays.
We love this addon because it includes great music compilations in great audio quality. The menu offers playlist and shuffle features.
We chose Beatz because it has a straightforward interface, and it is also very easy to install. It extracts information from the Last FM to provide up-to-date music.
This addon is included in Kodi’s official repository. You can search for songs, artists, or albums and discover new content by browsing different categories. You can play tracks, albums, and playlists. All the songs have the best audio quality, so you only need to find the best artists, mixers, and podcasts!
With this addon, you can follow individual streamers and channels and improve your gaming skills. It provides games from various platforms like PlayStation and Xbox.
“All in one” (AIO) means that you can stream different types of media with the same addon. Some of Nemesis AIO’s sections are movies, TV shows, live sports, music, documentaries, cartoons, video games, and more. Just keep in mind that this addon requires a pin number that you can easily get online for free.
With Asgard, you can stream movies, TV Shows, kids, sports, documentaries, music concerts, and more. Asgard has been updated to work with the new Kodi 19.2 Matrix.
Some maintenance tools that this addon has are cleaning cache, deleting thumbnails, old logs, packages, and more. It also has a backup and restore function and a log uploader. You can edit your advancedsettings.xml file within the Open Wizard Kodi addon.
|1||Download your VPN app.||Select your plan and download the ExpressVPN app for your computer or mobile device.|
|2||Set up your VPN service.||ExpressVPN apps are quick and easy to set up. Make sure that you find the correct instructions for your device and operating system.|
|3||Connect to a VPN server||With ExpressVPN you can choose between 160 locations around the globe.|
|4||Select your VPN settings.||Learn about the different setting options and manually choose the ones that work best for you.|
What Is a VPN?
VPN means virtual private network. It is an encrypted connection over the internet from a device to a network. The encrypted connection helps ensure that sensitive data is safely transmitted. In other words, a VPN is a parallel secret tunnel where everything that you receive, download, and transfer online travels, and nobody can see it.
Should I Use a VPN When Using Kodi addons?
Yes. Even though Kodi is a free and open-source media player application, builds and addons can stream illegal content. If this happens, you need to keep these streams private. On the other hand, using Kodi with a VPN helps to avoid hackers and viruses that can hurt your devices.
Why Should I Use a VPN?
There are two main reasons why people use VPNs: to avoid geographic restrictions and to protect their privacy. A lot of content or information is available, depending on location. For media content, many networks only work in certain regions. So if you want to pretend that you are somewhere else to access these media with a VPN, you can use the “alternative tunnel” to change your virtual location.
For privacy, the personal and professional information that we handle online is sensitive. And we shouldn’t let someone else read it or use it. There are many projects being discussed to protect users’ online privacy, but so far, in most countries, this information is still accessible to third parties. If you want to protect what you do, read, write, watch, send, and receive, you need a VPN.
What are the best Kodi addons for movies?
Besides Gaia, Tempest, Exodus Redux, The Oath, and Seren, these are some great and classic Kodi addons for mainstream movies: Crackle, Popcornflix, and Pluto.TV that you will find inside the official Kodi addon repository. From different repositories, you can find Netflix (CastagnaIT Repository), DejaVu (dejavurepo, hosted on GitHub), and Morpheus (located in the Fractured Repository).
What are the newest Kodi addons in 2021?
From this list, the newest Kodi addons are The Oath and Apex Sports. Some fresh addons that you could test are The Revolution (for watching movies and TV shows); The Q Continuum (a new all-in-one extension for movies, TV shows, and live sports); Cloud 9 Kodi, from the Dejavu Repository (you can watch live sports and sports replays).
What are the best Kodi addons for adult content?
The most popular and active Kodi addons to watch porn are XXX-O-DUS; .FapZone; Video Devil; Ultimate WhiteCream. Some all-in-one addons and addons for movies and TV shows have an adult content category in their menu, like The Oath and Nemesis AIO.
Is Kodi safe to use? Is it legal?
Kodi is a piece of software designed to stream content on a range of devices. The sources used to stream media with Kodi are what is going to determine whether or not using Kodi is legal. Kodi addons, repositories, and builds might access unauthorized duplication of copyrighted content that is then sold at the so-called grey market. This is known as illicit streaming and effectively relates to any time you stream media without the copyright owner’s permission.
Some addons stream authorized content and public domain content that is not protected by any copyright law or restrictions and may be freely copied, shared, altered, and republished by anyone. In that case, using Kodi is safe and legal.
How to install Kodi addons in 2021?
In order to install addons you will need to add a source in Kodi file manager – this is going to tell Kodi the location of the folder that contains the addon that you are looking for. Then you need to install the repository. And finally, you need to install the specific addon that you want. Find all the steps below.
|STEP||ICON / IMAGE||ACTION|
|1.0||Add a source in the Kodi file manager.|
|1.1||Start Kodi and select the gear icon to open the settings.|
|1.2||Open your file manager by selecting the folder symbol.|
|1.3||Select “Add Source” (may require a double-click on certain devices).|
|1.4||When you see this window, select “<None>.”|
|1.5||Type in the URL that points to the source you need to add in order to install the repository, which contains the addon that you are looking for. This URL will change according to the source. In other words, you are telling Kodi where the folder that contains the addon is located, and then you will download that folder. (We are using “The Kodz Repository” as an example).|
|1.6||In the box underneath, type in the name of the source, repository, or a term that describes the purpose of this source. Click on “OK” to confirm your input.|
|2.0||Install the repository|
|On the Kodi home screen, click on “Add-ons” on the left side.|
|Select the box symbol at the top left to open the “Addon Browser.”|
|Click on “Install from zip file.”|
|The Kodi file manager opens up, and you see a list of your attached devices and your sources. Click on the source we have added in the step before.|
|Now you need to look for a zip file that contains the term “repository” and the name of the required repository itself. Sometimes the zip file cannot be found on the first layer but in subfolders within the source. (The file names for repositories are always in this format: “repository.repositoryname-x.x.x.zip”)|
|After a click on the zip file, the repository will be installed. When the installation has finished successfully, a message box will appear below Kodi’s digital clock.|
|3.0||Install Kodi addons|
|3.1||After the installation of a repository, click on “Install from repository” in the “Addon Browser.”|
|3.2||A list of installed Kodi repositories appears. Select the repository you have just installed. (We are using “The Kodz Repository” as an example).|
|3.3||Select the category of the Kodi addon you want to install. Most of the time, the addon is found in “Video addons.”|
|3.4||Select the Kodi addon you want to install. Kodi repositories are full of addons so make sure to choose the right one.|
|Click on “Install” at the bottom right.|
|A window pops up, which lists what dependencies will be installed along with the addon itself. These dependencies are required, else the Kodi addon is not able to work at all. Click “OK.”|
|3.5||When you go back to the home-screen of Kodi, every installed addon will appear once you highlight the menu item “Addons” on the left side.|