The best add-ons for the Kodi media player and how to install them

The best Kodi add-ons to enhance your viewing experience

Kodi, the versatile open source media player has a lot of hidden talents thanks to its huge collection of Kodi add-ons that bring even more features and functionality to the media player.

But on its surface Kodi is already a fantastic media player that has become almost the default software for many home theatre PCs thanks to its slick interface that has been built especially for TVs. This interface has been improved further thanks to the recent Kodi Krypton update, which makes the media player better than ever.

It's also the go-to player on a variety of Android-based media players and set-top boxes.

We want to make it clear that neither TechRadar or Kodi endorse piracy. Unfortunately, some Kodi add-ons have been used to pirate copyrighted material which has resulted in Kodi being erroneously linked to piracy.

All the Kodi add-ons we mention in this guide are for streaming and watching legitimate content. This means you may need to have a subscription to the services, or in the case of BBC streams, a valid TV licence.

You can unlock all sorts of new abilities, and we've collected the best Kodi add-ons for you to install in your Kodi streaming box. These give you access to a universe of streamed audio and video, making Kodi the only software you need to act as the front-end of your entire home entertainment setup.

We've also included a guide on how to install the best Kodi add-ons, so you can quickly expand the functionality of your Kodi device.

Plex

Where to find it: Plex Forums

The fact that Plex -  a competitor to Kodi - has now released a Kodi add-on that brings its attractive UI, powerful Plex Server software and other great features to the Kodi platform, came as a surprise to many, as the services are often seen as fierce competitors.

While many people may think adding Plex to Kodi is a bit wasteful as they share many of the same features, it's actually a fantastic move. Now users can have the slick and professional Plex experience alongside the flexibility of Kodi.

If you're a home theater obsessive, then the Plex add-on for Kodi is a must, though you do need to have a Plex Pass subscription to use it.

iPlayer WWW

The best add ons for the Kodi media player and how to install them

Where to find it: Default Kodi repository

No prizes for guessing what the iPlayer WWW Kodi add-on is all about. It's a Kodi interface for the BBC iPlayer streaming service.

Bang up to date with more official takes on this excellent service, it even reminds you that you need a UK TV license to watch content.

The real thrill of iPlayer WWW is that its very matter-of-fact interface makes it much easier to find shows to watch, quickly, than the iPlayer UIs you'll find built into TVs and game consoles.

The best sport add-ons for the Kodi media player

Bulldog streams

The best add ons for the Kodi media player and how to install them

Where to find it: Bull Dog Streams website

If you don't mind your streaming Kodi add-on using a silly name and a bit of a silly lead image, Bulldog streams is worth a shot. It offers plenty of sport TV channel streams, as well as an Operation Robocop zone.

This is where you'll find Bulldog Streams's live event streams, a hot ticket in the Kodi add-on stakes. Some of the streams may take a while to load at peak times down to server load, but the streams on offer are varied.

Sports Mania

The best add ons for the Kodi media player and how to install them

Where to find it: Sports Mania website

Pay for a Kodi add-on? Madness? Not quite. Sports Mania is an excellent add-on that has dynamic server load management so you don't have to put up with stuttering streams or ones that refuse to load altogether.

It'll cost you £50 a year (around $65, AU$85), but may be worth it if you are going to use Kodi for a lot of sport-watching longer-term. There are also shorter memberships if you just want to try out a premium Kodi add-on for a bit.

SHOUTcast 2

7 essential add ons for the Kodi media player

Where to find it: Default Kodi repository

SHOUTcast 2 is an internet radio Kodi add-on, letting you listen to one of thousands of online radio stations directly from the Kodi interface. 

It's very easy to use, although given the raw volume of channels available it can be difficult to find just the right one for you. Thankfully it organises channels by Genre, which makes it a little easier to browse.

SickBeard, CouchPotato

7 essential add ons for the Kodi media player

Where to find it: Default Kodi repository

We've previously spoken about how to use programs such as CouchPotato or SickBeard, to automatically download TV shows and movies. SickBeard XBMC and CouchPotato Manager are add-ons that let you control these apps from within the loungeroom-friendly interface of Kodi. You'll still need the apps installed on your PC to use them.

You can add new shows or movies, and check and stream your library with these apps, and they do a good job of letting you get to the core functionality of the apps.

Spotimc

The best add ons for the Kodi media player and how to install them

Where to find it: Superepo repository

Spotify doesn't make an official interface for Kodi, but there are third-party add-ons that let you access your Spotify account from within the Kodi software. Spotimc is the one we've been using.

While not quite as slick as the mobile app Spotify has made, it gives you access to the full Spotify library as well as the playlists you've made on your phone or laptop. And it doesn't mess up the formatting of artist and track information either. A good alternative to plugging your laptop into your HiFI during a party.

Other Kodi add-ons

Apple iTunes Podcasts

The best add ons for the Kodi media player and how to install them

Where to find it: Default Kodi repository

There's a small army of podcasts apps for Kodi, but the one with the best line-up is Apple iTunes Podcasts, which hooks into the iTunes podcast library, an amazing treasure trove. 

The interface isn't too fancy, but it's clean, clear and easy to search through. There are also loads of sub-genres, making browsing for new podcasts without having any friends' recommendations a cinch.

Kermode and Mayo's Film Review

The best add ons for the Kodi media player and how to install them

Film fan? You're missing out if you don't listen to the Kermode and Mayo Film Review show. This Kodi add-on gives you access to the huge podcast archive, and a lot more besides.

You can watch the Kermode Uncut video blogs, worth a watch, as well as all the YouTube video clips of Kermode and Mayo in the studio reviewing many films from the last few years.

ROM Collection Browser

The best add ons for the Kodi media player and how to install them

Where to find it: Inbuilt script

Kodi isn't just about playing video and music. You can also point it towards your retro game ROM and emulator collection and it'll arrange your goodies in a very TV-friendly way.

You can also launch games right from this UI. It's built into Kodi too. Just search for "rom collection" in the add-on browser. It doesn't provide any emulators or ROMs, though. You'll need to have those first.