When you’re first setting up Kodi, it can take quite a bit of time to get all of the addons you want. During the installation process, you have several different ways to get different addons. One of the fastest ways to get multiple addons en masse, and discover new addons, is to download and install the best Kodi repositories first.
Not familiar with repositories? Don’t worry! We’ll walk you through what repositories are, which ones are the best repositories out there, and help you find the best addons hidden among them as well.
What Are Kodi Repositories?
Kodi repositories are larger files that contain multiple different addons and the files that help keep those addons running properly. Where repositories differ from just a single addon download and installation is that you’ll get access to multiple addons available from either a single publisher or multiple publishers. Additionally, when you download a repository, the file you downloaded will often be automatically updated when the publisher updates the repository and the addons in that repository.Here’s what a repository with multiple Kodi addons looks like:
As you can see, Shani’s Addon Repository contains 8 different video addons, including the popular Zem addon. However, some users may not realize that such repositories also contain what are known as dependencies. These are addons or plugin files that are needed for some others to work. And in some cases, different addon developers will make their addons require plugin files found in other repositories.
The f4mTester, for example, is a very popular streaming plugin that many other addons list as a dependency. Indeed, a lot of addons simply won’t work without it, which is why many include it within their addon repositories or individual addon zip files.
However, it’s not exactly accurate to say that all of these files are sitting on your computer. That’s why all of the addons that you might see in a repository don’t just get automatically installed when you download and install the repository. Instead, what you see when you browse through the repository are all of the files available on the remote server for that repository.
At its heart, Kodi allows users to browse through and access files that are hosted online in a more slimmed down fashion. This is what repositories are doing for you. Linking you to the place where those addon files are hosted, and making it easier for you to access them without having to search for individual addons. The way the information is displayed makes it easier to navigate, than if you went there directly from your web browser.
Best Repositories for Kodi
The best repositories for Kodi are going to be super-repositories. These are repositories that combine a bunch of smaller addon repositories, making it far easy to track down both popular and obscure Kodi addons. However, some of the smaller third party repositories are also great, as those developers are powerhouses of addon development.
The best overall repositories include:
- TVADDONS Fusion/Indigo
- Ares Repository
- The Noobs and Nerds Repository
You can find most of the installation guides, as well as more great repository options, in our repositories guide.
Click here to access our full guide on the best repositories for Kodi.
How Do I Install Repositories?
Thankfully, it’s actually very easy to install a repository! The process is the same as you’d take when you’re installing any addon. To that end, there are a few ways to go about installing a repository.
Method One: Directly Download the Zip File
Many repositories come with a zip file that can be downloaded and installed on Kodi. That will make it possible for you to find the repository from the Addon Repository menu. For example, if you wanted to install Shani’s Addon Repository to download Zem, this is what you would do:
- Download Shani’s Repository zip file
- From your Kodi home screen, go to Add-ons and then My Addons
- Click on the ellipses “…” at the very top
- Click on Install from zip
- Locate your Shani’s Addon Repository zip file, repository.shani-x.x.zip. The “x” here stands for the version numbers, which can change
- Click the zip file to install it
- Then, go to Install from repository, where you will find Shani’s Addon Repository now installed
Method Two: Add the Repository As a Source
The other method, done through Kodi’s file manager, allows you to add the repository file as a source and browse the repository that way. You would use that method for some addon repositories where the zip file for the repo is not directly available, such as with the popular addon Goodfellas 2.0.
When adding anything as a source, you generally need the source/repository web address. You would then go to Settings > File manager > Add source, as shown in the images below:
What that does is tell Kodi that there’s a file located at that web address. You give it a name, and Kodi will link directly to that web address, as well as pull up any files and folders located there. That way, when you go to your Install from zip section, it comes up immediately on that page with the name you gave it, and an icon on the left showing that your computer and that web page (as well as the server its located on) are now connected. You can see what that looks like in the image below:
I’ve Heard Kodi Addons Called “Plugins”. What Are Those?
When you read or hear Kodi addons being referred to as a “plugins,” know that those two words mean the same thing. A Kodi addon is itself a plugin, which is a type of file that you might “add on” to a program to give it that program more functionality. Think about the additions you can attach to your Google Chrome or Firefox browsers, such as the Destiny Item Manager or Grammarly. Although Google calls these extensions, their word for it is just another term for plugins. So plugins, addons, extensions: they’re all the same words for a separate program-within-a-program.
Plugins, like Kodi’s addons, generally use what are known as Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs. There are a lot of different APIs, and Kodi plugins use what are known as Web API that allows the plugin to pull information from another source, and display it within a different program. So when you’re using the YouTube Kodi addon, that addon uses YouTube’s API to display YouTube menus and allow you to browse for different videos. Different API will allow for different types of functions, so some Kodi addons will differ. However, most of Kodi’s popular addons focus simply on finding and streaming content.
How Do I Install Addons?
The addon installation process allows you to give Kodi new functions. Every addon is its little program that will scrape the internet for different links and content and display it within Kodi.
There are three main ways to install Kodi addons. This includes directly installing the zip file, downloading the addon through a repository, or adding the repository and then zip file as a source.
I’ve Seen Some Paid Addons. Should I Trust Them?
It’s important to remember that Kodi is open source. It’s been designed to be open source from the beginning and completely free to use for everyone. Occasionally, however, you might see some addon developers attempt to charge users for their addons.
Avoid paid addons! When we say “paid addons,” we do not, of course, mean addons that provide you access to paid services from first parties, such as Amazon, Hulu, or Crunchyroll. What we mean are addons that will try to charge you for content that you could get elsewhere
There are several reasons why you should consider avoiding paid addons, all of which are part of why you will not find any paid addons listed in this article.
You can find that content for free somewhere else
If there’s a paid addon trying to charge you, you can find that content free somewhere else. This is the simplest reason to avoid them, although there are others.
They illegally charge for content they don’t own or have licensing agreements to display
This is the biggest issue with these types of paid services. Not only is it illegal for these addons to charge for content they don’t own, but they also place the buyers at risk. Chances are, these addons are from developers who are collecting your money and your identity. They likely do not have your best interest at heart when collecting your data, so you can’t be sure that they are not selling that information to third parties or, even worse, keeping that data in unsecured locations that can easily be stolen or used against you. Even if you’re using a VPN when using those addons, they have your information due to collecting a fee, even when you use services like PayPal.
Stream quality is often poor
It’s easy to believe that because you’re paying for a service, the quality will be better. Unfortunately, that’s usually not the case. More often than not, these paid services are scraping their streams from the same sources as the free addons — except they’re charging you a price for it. What’s more, they may be spending less effort on keeping the addon up and running and in good quality. After all, they’ve already collected your money. Free addons tend to come from developers who have a passion for the service they provide, and who receive no monetary benefit from it.
Furthermore, since they’re also scraping from the same sources as the free sites, there’s a good chance that they’ll stop working as they increase their user base. Most of these paid addon services are designed quickly and purposefully to make a quick profit, especially in the lead-up to major sporting events.
The Best Kodi Addons
Looking for the best Kodi addons around? We’ve covered several key areas. Below you’ll find a list of the best addons for different categories, as well as links where you can download and install these addons.
Best Live TV Addons
Live TV is one of the primary reasons many people choose Kodi over other sources. Whether you’re looking for news, sports, or entertainment, there are Kodi addons that provide you with easy access to the type of content you’re looking for.
Among the best live TV addons available are:
Best Addons for Live Sports
Kodi and live sports go hand-in-hand. Here’s a list of the best Kodi addons for different sports you might be interested in.
English Premier League: BBC iPlayer
Major League Soccer: cCloudTV
Hockey (NHL and College)
Click here to access our guide on the best wrestling (WWE) addons for Kodi
Accessing Blacked Out Sports
At times, sports networks will black out sports for different regions. To access blacked out sports using Kodi, you may have to take a few additional steps. This could include:
- Use a VPN. Using a VPN will allow you to change your IP address. If you chose a server located in a region where the content is not blacked out, you might be able to get access to that content.
- Use a GPS spoof. In the case with MLB games especially, your ability to watched games may be contingent on your GPS location. Location services typically have to be turned on, and you can’t simply spoof that with a VPN. In those cases, you may need to download a GPS spoof application which will show you in a different location.
- Stream from a source outside your country where the game is also playing. In many cases, some major sports events are also streaming through networks located in other countries. Those are often not facing the same blackouts as local channels, meaning you may be able to find where those games are showing internationally and stream the content from there.
Best Addons for Movies and TV Shows
Alongside sports and live TV, some of the best addons available for Kodi are designed for viewing movies and TV shows on-demand. There are probably more addons for this purpose than for most other streaming purposes. However, the best addons for Movies and TV shows include:
Best Addons for Anime
Anime is a major Kodi user area of interest. There are a large number of specialized anime addons available as well. However, KissAnime probably the best for this purpose.
Click here to access our KissAnime installation guide.
Alongside KissAnime, there are some other addons that will provide you with good anime streaming.
Best Addons for Cartoons
Kodi’s community is big into cartoons, so you’ll find some addons that make cartoon viewing a priority. Bobby’s Cartoon is the single best addon for this purpose.
Click here to access our Bobby’s Cartoons installation guide.
Looking for more? Click here to access our guide on the best cartoon addons for Kodi.
Best Addons for News
All of the news you might want to watch can be found directly through Kodi. Perhaps the best part is that if you’ve installed any live TV addons you’ve already got what you need for news streaming.
The best news addons on Kodi include:
- Goodfellas 2.0
- cCloud TV
- BBC iPlayer
- Made in Canada IPTV
Best Addons for Documentaries
Documentaries are indeed a type of movie, but they are far more specialized than that. In fact, some Kodi addons focus specifically on documentaries and nothing else. You’ll find your best source for documentaries may be the YouTube addon that you can install from the Official Kodi Addon Repository.
Streaming Apps for Existing Services
Already paying for some first-party streaming services? You might be able to find a Kodi addon for that service, allowing you to stream your favorite content right through Kodi. Although most of the Kodi addons for these services are not official, they may give you access to the account you already have with those services:
- NetfliXBMC (located in the SuperRepo repository). This one only opens up Netflix in another browser and does not play the content through Kodi.
- Hulu Plus (located in elmerohueso’s Add-on Repository). This one only works on Android devices and launches the Hulu app you already have installed.
- Amazon Prime Video (located in the SuperRepo repository). If you have an Amazon Prime account, this one should give you access to your videos.
- Crunchyroll (located in the Official Kodi Addon Repository). This one one of the best official Kodi addons out there. It makes getting to your Crunchyroll content much, much easier.
- YouTube (located in the Official Kodi Addon Repository). If you’re looking to slim down your YouTube experience, this is one of the best options. In fact, a lot of Kodi addons use YouTube as a dependency, so there’s a good chance that you’re going to have this one installed anyway.
- Spotify (located in the SuperRepo repository). This addon is unofficial but does require you to have a premium Spotify account to get access to any music content.