Kodi is great for a number of reasons, not the least of which is an extensive add-on library. Since Kodi is open source, add-ons let you tailor the look and feel of your media center, as well as what content you can stream.
However, Kodi’s official add-on repository can feel a bit limiting. While there are some great options available, most don’t offer the kind of flexibility you’ll get from unofficial repositories. During this roundup, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best third-party Kodi add-ons available to really geek out your media experience.
When it comes to Kodi, it should be noted that it exists in a bit of a legal gray area, so proceed at your own risk. If you want security and privacy when using these unofficial add-ons, we’d highly recommend running it with a VPN. If you need guidance there, our best VPN list can help you find a suitable provider. You can also look at our article on the five best VPN for Kodi.
Kodi Guide: Everything You Always Wanted to Know
Without further ado, here are Cloudwards.net’s picks for best unofficial Kodi add-ons.
The first add-on comes courtesy of the Noobs and Nerds repository, NaN being an obvious acronym. We’re starting our list with it because it will help as you delve further into using Kodi and using unofficial repositories in particular.
NaN Tutorials provide tutorial videos ranging from installing add-ons to configuring Kodi on a Raspberry Pi. If you want to learn more about Kodi, or any hardware it can be installed on, this add-on is a must-have.
Now that we have that out of the way, we can get to the good stuff: content. The Covenant Kodi add-on is the latest incarnation of Exodus, an iconic add-on that allowed you to stream movies and TV shows from around the Internet. Exodus is no longer supported, but Covenant is virtually the same.
Covenant can be found in a few different repositories, but our Covenant installation guide goes over getting it from the Colossal Smash repository. Once installed, you’ll have access to just about every movie or TV show you could want, some of them still in theaters.
If you don’t have much of a media library, then this is the place to go. Just make sure you use one of our best VPN for torrenting since you are effectively streaming torrents.
1Channel is a lot like Covenant in that it lets you stream movies and TV shows. What’s nice about 1Channel is the addition of music into the mix. The library doesn’t have everything, and a $10 per month Spotify subscription isn’t going to break the bank, but the option is there.
1Channel also has user-created playlists. Lists for Rob Zombie films, Halloween movies and even favorites from particular years can be found. It’s nice to throw on a playlist and let it roll, especially if it’s just for background noise.
One shortcoming that Covenant and 1Channel share is that neither can stream live TV. This is where US TVNow comes into play. This add-on provides access to 28 U.S. channels in HD with unlimited DVR.
The downside is that US TVNow integrates with a service that, unfortunately, will run $39 per month. It’s a cost, but a justifiable one for cord cutters. With 28 channels, you’ll have access to options like Syfy, National Geographic, Discovery, Comedy Central and, of course, the standard news stations.
If you don’t want to buy, US TVNow has a free plan with access to seven channels in standard definition, along with limited DVR capabilities. It’s not ideal, but you’ll get all the news and primetime television you want for free.
Included with some of the stations on US TVNow are sports options. However, local games aren’t enough for many die-hard fans. For that, you’ll need a sports add-on and Castaway is one of the best. Castaway, like TVNow, offers live coverage, ranging from college football to the World Cup.
In addition to sporting events, Castaway also has a database of TV shows, movies and documentaries, as well as Sports on Demand broadcasts (those can only be viewed live). You can find Castaway in the Fusion repository.
If you want a little more fantasy in your life, 9Anime is the way to go. This Kodi add-on mirrors 9Anime.tv, an anime-streaming website. What’s great about the add-on is that it’s been updated for Kodi 17.0 and above, meaning it plays nicely with Krypton.
9Anime scrapes different sources to present users with an impressive list of anime options. You’ll be able to see both source and quality for each stream and pick what you want.
Based on our research, there seems to be an unofficial 9Anime plugin from Cypher’s Locker called “Cypher’s 9Anime.” This version does not work, so avoid it. Get your add-on from the 9Anime repository, directly.
For more light-hearted animation, Bobby’s Cartoons has you covered. This add-on (and the next one) comes from the DandyMedia repository. If you have kids, this add-on is a must as it houses just about any children’s cartoon you could want.
It’s not just for kids, though. Bobby’s Cartoons has a backlog of classic cartoons if you’re in a nostalgic mood, plus “adult” offerings like Family Guy and South Park. The downside to Bobby’s Cartoons is that there are no search or filtering options. You’re stuck with browsing the list to find what you want.
B99TV is a cartoon database like Bobby’s, but with a focus on ‘90s cartoons. You’re going to find everything from Tiny Toons to Batman: The Animated Series here.
What’s nice is how all of the episodes are laid out. You can search by studio or by series, making finding what you want a fairly straightforward process. There isn’t much in the collection, though, due to B99TV’s narrow focus. If you’re a fan of this era of cartoons though, this is a must-have.
After all of that TV watching, it might be nice to get off the couch and actually do something. Ares Fitness lets you do that without also having to go outside. This add-on provides a wide range of exercises that you can do right in your living room.
You’ll find warm-up exercises, stretches, post-workout tips and even interval training exercises. The add-on comes courtesy of the Ares Project repository (hence the name) and is perfect for anyone who wants to ditch the gym membership and start working out at home.
HEVC Video Club
The only issue with all of this content is the size. As resolution goes up, so does file size. Depending on your Internet speed, this could mean waiting to stream your favorite movie for quite a while.
Most files stream using the H.264 codec. This codec is used on Blu-Rays, leaving smaller file sizes with little video artifacting. The tech has been around for awhile, though, and innovation hasn’t quite caught up in streaming. H.256 (or HEVC) is a newer codec that allows the same quality of H.264 with small file sizes.
HEVC Video Club add-on, as the name suggests, provides full HD video at a fraction of the size, reducing the bandwidth needed to stream. Full HD movies now sit only around 300MB per file, making for faster buffering, and not eating up all of your Internet bandwidth.
The add-on provides a good-sized library of movies, including new releases. You can browse selections by genre and release year.
This is just a small list of the unofficial Kodi add-ons available today. Multiple repositories exist, all chock-full of great add-ons. New add-ons go live as others go dead with regularity, but those highlighted above have been around for awhile and don’t seem to be going anywhere.
What are your favorite unofficial Kodi add-ons? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.