At its core, Kodi is an unbelievably powerful application. When it comes to home theater software, you can hardly find a viable alternative to KodiÂ (not that we haven’t tried). This is because it supports almost every popular platform, plays various types of media files, and finally â comes free-of-charge. However, an important side of this application is its freedom of customization. Out of the box, Kodi is a highly polished software, ready to be used on its own. Still, you can push it a couple of steps further viaÂ amazing third-party addons. These include content add-ons, customized builds, and skins. In this article, TechNadu will present a list of the veryÂ best Kodi skins.
In this article, we will be talking about how to change Kodiâs UI (User Interface) without making any deeper-level changes. In fact, itâs incredibly easy to switch between different skins and install new ones. Finally, weâll reveal our list the best Kodi skins.
Disclaimer:Â We will be discussing software developed for Kodi â which is based on open-source code. However, the following software comes from unofficial third-parties. In addition, it is publicly available and free of charge. TechNadu doesnât claim any responsibility for how our readers decide to utilize the following software. Please note that we donât condone sharing pirated content and copyright infringement. TechNadu is not affiliated with the software mentioned in this article in no way. Make sure to carefully read the above-said disclaimer and ensure the proper use of the software.
WARNING: Before You Continueâ¦
TechNadu recommends connecting to the Web using a VPN application. The majority of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are able of tracking your Web browsing habits and collecting information. This kind of personal data can be forwarded to government agencies or sold to marketing companies. One of the consequences of these actions can be copyright infringement notices that some users of Kodi reported receiving. The only way to stop this from happening is to use a VPN.
- VPN applications encrypt your Internet connection.Â As such, your personal data stays hidden and inaccessible by your Internet Service Provider.
- VPNs unlock restricted content.Â Using this kind of application, your computer will receive a new IP address that points to an entirely different physical location. This is how you can watch region-restricted movies and TV shows.
- VPNs can improve your Internet connectivity.Â A reliable VPN application can de-block throttled connections and achieve better overall performance.
Based on our experience, TechNadu would like to recommend IPVanish. This has been our VPN of choice for a long time, making us happy with its features and performance. IPVanish is capable of keeping your connection highly secure. It can also be used to watch region-restricted movies and TV shows. Finally, this application doesnât affect Internet connection speeds. On top of that, itâs very affordable.
Sign up for IPVanishÂ and try it out for yourself.
The Best Kodi Skins: Overview
You might be wondering what are skins for Kodi as well as how are they different than other add-ons? We are here to answer that question. Letâs take a look at what are Kodiâs add-ons, builds, and skins.
- Third-Party AddonsÂ are applications that run within Kodi. In this manner, you can see Kodi as a platform where you can install all kinds of apps. For example, there areÂ movie-related addonsÂ or some very specific ones, likeÂ boxing Kodi addons.
- Skins for KodiÂ are files that change the applicationâs appearance. They donât bring any additional features, but simply reorganize Kodiâs visual design (UI).
- Finally, we also haveÂ customized builds. In essence, builds are combinations of add-ons and skins. These can bring dozens of add-ons at once and completely change Kodiâs UI. Once you uninstall a build, you uninstall related add-ons and skins as well.
The Main Role of Skins for Kodi
TheÂ latest version of KodiÂ (17.6 â Krypton) brings a new default skin named Estuary. It is characterized by clean lines and different hues of blue. For the majority of users, this is going to be the ultimate skin. However, itâs never a bad idea to take a look at alternatives.
What is important to understand is that skins for Kodi arenât just cosmetic changes. They can completely overhaul how Kodi looks, rearrange menus, present different backgrounds and reshape dialog boxes. You will feel like youâre using an entirely different application. This is important because some skins look better on a large screen (like on a large-screen TV), while others are more suitable for smartphones and touchscreens. In case you donât know, you canÂ install Kodi on Android, and thereâs also aÂ Kodi app for iOSÂ in addition to aÂ Raspberry Pi version. Needless to say, Kodi can be installed on desktop platforms likeÂ WindowsÂ andÂ MacOS. This is why weâll bring you an overview of the best Kodi skins for different devices and input methods.
How to Install Skins for Kodi?
Skins are free-of-charge and they can be installed via the Settings menu. Note that the set of available skins can change over time. Developers of Kodi are in charge when it comes to maintaining this list, which is why youâll often find new and improved versions replacing older ones.
Follow these steps to reveal currently available skins and to install them:
- Launch KodiÂ and youâll see its Home Screen. Use theÂ Gear IconÂ located in the upper-left corner to access theÂ Settings menu.
- You should see a grid of available options (buttons). Click on âInterface Settingsâ.
- On the left side, youâll see options like Skins, Regional, Screensaver, and more. Click on âSkinsâ.
- In the right-positioned field click on âSkinâ where youâll see âEstuaryâ as the currently active one.
- A new pop-up window will appear. Click on âGet Moreâ¦â to preview currently available entries.
- After you click on any of the entries on this list,Â Kodi will automatically download and install that skin. Youâll be asked whether youâd like to keep it as youâll see a small preview.
Once you download and apply new looks, that skin will be saved within Kodi. This means that you can easily switch between different looks without downloading the needed files.
The Best Kodi Skins 2018: Must-Haves
Before we provide a list of interesting skins, we recommend checking out our article on the best Kodi skins of 2018. This is where you’ll find the absolute essentials. To expand your choice, continue reading this article.
The Best Kodi Skins: Our Recommendations
Now you know all about skins, their roles, and how to install them. All thereâs left for us is to show you the most popular options at the moment. This list will help you save some time that youâd spend browsing and trying out different options. Our list of the best Kodi skins contains entries that bring polished interfaces and that are fully working as well.
Aside from Kodiâs Estuary skin, Amber is one of the most popular ones. This is because it offers amazing looks in addition to high levels of customization.
By default, Amber brings a horizontal menu with the main categories visible straight away. As you scroll through different categories, youâll see high-resolution images in the background. These will be based on your Kodiâs content library. Once you get into a specific category, like Movies, you will see a nice horizontal row filled with movie posters. However, almost everything about Amber can be customized â which is why we have placed it at the top of your list of the best Kodi skins. Another great this about Amber is that encompasses third-party apps likeÂ BoB Unleashed,Â GoodFellas,Â Nemesis, and many others.
If youâre not a fan of the horizontal navigation, you can opt for a vertical main menu. This will automatically employ grids of artwork and movie posters so you can see more at once. In specific categories, you wonât see a row of posters, but instead a grid or list of available titles.
Overall, you wonât be wrong if you pick Amber. We strongly recommend trying it out.
This Kodi skin is somewhat similar to our previous suggestion. The main difference is that Mimic is built upon the principles of flat design. What this means is that you wonât see too many shiny buttons or gradients. Instead, the main color is blue and its different hues. As you can imagine, you can change the default color and adjust Mimicâs appearance to your sense of aesthetics.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this skin is its customization. There are numerous options to review and adjust. For example, there are different ways this skin can display movie posters. Our favorite choice is a display option called âWallâ which is a grid of posters without any border. Instead, youâll see nicely stacked covers of your music, videos, and TV shows. If you prefer something simple, you can go for a basic list option. This allows you to see a vertical list of your content in addition to its artwork, synopsis, and ratings. There are also horizontal lists which may be more suitable for large TVs.
Our list of the best Kodi skins would not be complete without at least one Material Design skin. This kind of aesthetics wasÂ brought by GoogleÂ a couple of years back. Since then, it has found its way to numerous different platforms since it brings very clear and concise visuals. There are no gradients or other heavy elements. Instead, youâll see basic colors and buttons without transparency.
The Unity skinÂ does a good job of bringing Material Design to Kodi. The main menu is, by default, organized into a horizontal menu. It is basically a large gray bar with white-colored letters and menu items. As you scroll through the items, you will see related apps (add-ons) as well as movie posters and artwork in the upper portion of the screen. As youâll see, everything is card-based, meaning that youâll see small and large rectangles filled with different kinds of information. This skin also allows you to create shortcuts to your favorite types of content. For example, you can pull out a category ofÂ cartoon add-ons,Â Chinese movies and TV shows, or incredibly funÂ Korean movies and variety shows.
Donât forget to check out Unityâs settings within theÂ System Menu > Interface Settings. There, you can switch between different color schemes and different ways of presenting your content.
Black Glass Nova
If youâre not into clear-cut and flat design visuals, Black Glass Nova might offer a solution. This is a highly customizable skin that brings everything you might possibly need.
By default, Black Glass Nova transforms Kodiâs menu into a horizontal bar with large thumbnails. As you scroll left or right through different content categories, youâll see images of what each category represents. While browsing the main menu, youâll also see sub-menus at the bottom of the screen. For example, the Movies section comes with sub-menus that contain Playlists, In Progress, Recently Added, and more. There are many ways to browse your content, which is where this skin excels.
When it comes to is visuals, it could be said that Black Glass Nova is built upon Windowsâ Aero aesthetics â if you remember that term. Dialog boxes, content sections, and images come with a transparent border with soft edges. Since there are numerous small details, our recommendation is to use this skin on a large-screen device. Otherwise, Kodiâs interface might be a bit overwhelming.
This is an incredibly user-friendly skin. As it seems, the main mission of Nebula is to bring as many options as possible and make them visible all at the same time. However, Nebula isnât too complex since it doesnât make the navigation too difficult to handle. In fact, it makes incredibly useful compromises.
The Home Screen of Kodi, once Nebula is applied, turns into a soft white surface with gray text. The central portion of the screen is dedicated to the main menu, which can be scrolled left or right. Once you pause at a certain category, youâll see different options at the top and bottom of the screen. For example, you can directly enter a certain movie genre without having to enter the main category first.
Once you click on a movie or TV show title, youâll be taken to a nicely designed overview. You can see numerous details including information about a particular media file, synopsis, artwork, and a large header image. If youâre usingÂ HD video addons, they will truly shine through every screen of this skin.
Just like other best Kodi skins, this one can also be customized, which means that almost everything about it can be changed.
Metropolis pushes the boundaries of Kodiâs customization. This incredible skin transforms Kodi into the ultimate media center. This is what makes Kodi better than its competitors.
This skin is all about presenting a lot of information about your media collection. For example, if you enter the TV Shows category, you will see how many episodes are stored and how many of those are waiting to be watched. In addition, you can see your recently added files at the bottom of the screen.
Another interesting thing about Metropolis is that it brings a lot of freedom. You can change the default layout in many different ways, and choose between different gallery-mode options. For example, you can pick horizontal or vertical sorting. Another thing we like is custom logos for TV shows. Once you enter this section, you will see a list of your locally stored TV Shows along with their logos and artwork. This is a bit different than with other skins on this list.
When it comes to dramatic overhauls, Metropolis is the best Kodi skin.
After telling you about one of the most dramatic skins, letâs switch to something simplistic. This is where Arctic: Zephyr comes into play. This is an extremely polished skin that can easily replace Kodiâs default option.
By default, this skin turns Kodiâs menu into a large, bottom-positioned bar. This is where youâll see the main content categories, but you can alsoÂ add shortcuts on your own. As you switch between different items, youâll see that a large background image changes. Enter any category, and youâll see a clean representation of your content. You can switch between different viewing options. For example, your movies can be presented as scrollable lists of posters or as text-based lists. No matter what option you pick, youâll also see legible letters and nicely designed layout.
In case you watchÂ Live TV via your Kodi, you should know that Arctic: Zephyr brings an incredibly nicely designed TV schedule where you can check out upcoming content.
Even though not everyone will like this skin, we simply must mention Chroma on this list of the best Kodi skins. This is because Chroma has been available for quite some time and managed to attract a loyal user base. It might be too overwhelming on smaller screens, but Chroma works just fine on larger screens and TVs. You canÂ install ChromaÂ and try it out for yourself.
By default, Chroma combines a horizontal menu with high-resolution background images. If you enter a category, you will see all of the needed information. For starters, thereâs a list of available content, in addition to ratings, genres, synopses, and artwork. As you can imagine, there are different ways to organize how the content is displayed. It can be via lists (horizontal and vertical) and different kinds of grids. Thereâs also an option to show all your movies at once as a large interactive wallpaper.
The only thing that weâd like to see improved is legibility. At times, it can be hard to read something, especially if thereâs a white background.
Eminence turns your Kodi into something that resembles LGâs WebOS. You can recognize it by a row of oddly shaped icons that can be scrolled left and right. However, this skin does an incredibly good job of creating a simple yet functional user interface.
As previously said, Eminence brings a row of large icons on the Home Page. As you enter one of the content categories, youâll see a large grid of movie posters and artwork. However, you can turn this into a scrollable horizontal list consisted of a large image and synopsis. There are different variations to how you can present your content library. This skin also does a good job of simplifying Kodiâs Settings menu by bringing clearly visible icons. The text is often separated into blocks placed within their own background. This means that you can read synopses and other information no matter the background.
We placed Eminence on your list of the best Kodi skins due to its simplicity, ease of use, and fluidity of navigation. Try it out.
Additional Resources: What’s Next?
Before we let you go, we’d like to provide a few useful resources. Here at TechNadu, we are passionate users of Kodi and we like to spread the knowledge about this awesome application. Therefore, here are a few articles that you might find interesting.
This list is focused on the very best Kodi skins. You can find more options within Kodiâs Settings menu, but we picked the ones we feel youâll enjoy the most. As you know now, not every skin is the same. If you arenât happy with the default one, donât hesitate to try out something new.
As always, we are more than happy to hear what you have to say. Do you feel like we missed something? Is there an amazing Kodi skin thatâs not on this list? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share it article across social networks if you think other Kodi users might find it interesting. Thanks!