Add-ons are at the heart of Kodi. In fact, many people would argue that without third-party developers creating add-ons and adding extra functionality, Kodi would be nowhere near as popular as it is today.
Kodi includes an Official Kodi Repository filled with hundreds of add-ons which are supplied and supported either by members of Team Kodi, or by developers they trust. You can find an add-on for just about anything you want – skins, streaming services, sports, live TV…the list goes on.
If that’s not enough for you, there are tons of unofficial repositories on the Internet that you can download add-ons from. Many of these add-ons are of questionable quality and even more questionable legality, so they’re not something I’ll cover in this Kodi setup guide. If you Google a particular add-on, I’m quite sure that somebody out there has covered.
Still, I’d advise caution installing anything that’s not official. I’m not here to judge, but I am here to look out for you.
How to install Kodi Add-ons
Because Add-ons are such an important part of your Kodi installation, there are a couple of different ways that you can install them. The process is the same, but the starting point can be different. I’ll explain…
Installing Add-ons from the Videos, Music or Pictures menu
If you want to install a Video add-on, for example, you’re probably going to be on the Videos tab already, so it makes it easy access for you without having to go back to the System –> Settings tab.
Don’t worry, if you happen to be on the Videos menu and just thought of a great Music add-on you want to install, you can do that from there as well. Kodi doesn’t care what type of add-on you want to install. Think of the sub-menus on the Videos, Pictures or Movies tabs as a way to skip ahead to ‘Step 2’ if you don’t want to go all the way back to the Kodi home window.
The Kodi Add-on Manager
If you’re like me, you’ll probably just end up going to the System Menu a lot anyway, just to check on system performance or make some tweaks. Since I come from a PC background, it’s been drilled into me to always start at the System or Settings screen, no matter what system I’m on. At this point, it’s just a force of habit.
To get to the Kodi Add-on Manager, scroll over to the System menu and click on Settings.
From here, that will take you to the familiar Change your Settings window, which I hope you’re familiar with by now. On the menu on the left side, scroll down to where it says Add-ons and click on it.
The next menu will have options for My add-ons, Install from repository, Install from zip file, Search and System. I’ll touch on each briefly below:
- My Add-Ons: This will pull up a list of all of the add-ons, broken down by category, and whether they are enabled or disabled on this Kodi installation.
- Install from Repository: This is all of the add-ons available for installation in the official Kodi repository. We’ll go through the process for installing from here below.
- Install from Zip File: If you’re installing an add-on that’s not in the official list, this is how you’ll do it.You’ll have to download a zip file to your device and browse for it using this option. It’s a little more cumbersome, but it will let you install anything you want to.
- Search: If you know what add-on you’re looking for, or just have a general idea of the topic, you can enter it here and see the results.
- System: This will show add-ons that are currently running, ad well as any dependencies that they have.
For our purposes, we’re going to be installing one of the official video add-ons, so click on Install from Repository.
Here are all of the categories of add-ons that exist in this repository. I recommend taking some time to browse through them all because you never know what you’ll find, and they’re updated frequently. For the purposes of this Kodi setup guide, click on Video add-ons.
Whether you started in the Add-On Manager or in one of the other menus, you’ll end up at a screen that looks like the one above. There will be slight differences, but the important parts will be there. Here you’ll find a list of all of the video add-ons on the left hand side. You can scroll through the list, as you’d expect. Once you have an add-on selected, more information will pop up about it on the right half of the screen.
We’re going to be installing the KordKutters video add-on. KordKutters is a side project for Nate and Ned, both members of Team Kodi. They talk about Kodi news, features and the occasional hardware review. If you want the scoop on what’s coming up in the Kodi world, these are the guys to follow.
Scroll down to KordKutters and select that add-on.
Once you select it, a window will pop up showing more information, which incidentally is usually just a full screen version of the information panel on the previous screen. It will have options to Install, Configure, Update, Auto-Update, view the Changelog, and Enable or Disable.
Since the add-on isn’t installed yet, only the Install and Changelog options are allowed right now. Click Install to install the add-on. Once the add-on is installed, you’ll have the option to configure or change any settings, if any exist. For this particular add-on, there’s not much to configure.
One final note: Kodi 16 Jarvis now gives you the option of configuring each add-on to either automatically update on it’s own, or never update. Generally, I set my add-ons to automatically update because I want to be sure that I have the latest version with new features or bug-fixes. Occasionally though, updating an add-on will cause it to break, so this enables you to find a version that works and keep it indefinitely.