Kodi is an incredibly customizable piece of software. Long-time users know that you can tweak everything from the way you access your library to the way the RSS ticker looks.
One of the easiest and best ways to completely overhaul your Kodi experience is to install a new skin. Here are the best Kodi skins in 2019 and how to install them.
Confluence was Kodi’s default skin from 2009 to 2017.
Sure, it doesn’t have the character of some of the fancier skins. However, given it was the Kodi developers’ skin of choice for such a long time, you can be confident that its layout and design is going to be user-friendly.
The skin itself uses blues and blacks; it creates an almost cable TV-esque feel. Menu items are displayed along a single horizontal bar that runs through the center of the home screen.
2. Aeon Nox
With the release of the Leia, the version of Kodi released in January 2019, you need to be careful which themes you install. They are not all compatible.
Thankfully, Aeon Nox is compatible. It’s arguably been the most popular Kodi theme for the last few years.
Aeon Nox is big on visuals; movies and TV series in your collection are displayed as large posters. They look great when you’re browsing on a large screen. Menus use a futuristic font and design, which might not be to everyone’s taste.
Chroma is another of the famous Kodi skins that’s compatible with the Leia Kodi build. It is specifically built for people who want to watch Kodi on an Ultra HD television; the skin uses high-resolution background images.
Chroma also changes the background color hues depending on the on-screen content. As such, its visuals are dynamic and will help to keep Kodi feeling fresh.
The Mimic skin for Kodi is aimed at people who don’t want garish or eye-catching themes. It uses “flat” design principles, so you won’t find gradients, shiny buttons, shadows, or other similar graphics.
Instead, everything is designed to appear flat on the screen. All the menus use a variation of a slate grey/blue color.
Mimic is also noteworthy for the amount of customization available. You can change everything from how movie posters are displayed to how the menus appear on the screen.
If you want a neat design that’s not quite as basic as Mimic, check out Black Glass Nova. Like all the other Kodi themes on this list, Black Glass Nova is compatible with Leia.
Black Glass Nova seemingly draws on Windows’ much-loved Aero design for its inspiration. There are lots of transparent borders and softened corners.
In terms of display, we particularly like how Black Glass Nova uses the horizontal menu bar to display video artwork rather than menu items.
You might have noticed a recurring theme in all the Kodi skins we have featured so far: they are all dark.
That’s not a quirk of our selections. The overwhelming majority of Kodi skins out there use darker colors, shades, and hues. People seem to prefer them.
If you’d like to use something light, we recommend Nebula. Off-whites and light grays dominate the interface and menus. A dark version of Nebula is also available.
Our biggest criticism of Nebula is its desire to fit lots of menu items on the screen at once. If you want a cleaner experience, you might not like it.
Perhaps it’s just us, but Unity gives off smartphone vibes. The way menus and submenus look like Android suggest the designers have taken cues from Google’s “Material Design” philosophy.
Visually, the Horizon Kodi skin pairs dark backgrounds with light gray text, or vice-versa; navigation is easy. The skin also replaces all of Kodi’s original iconography with new, more modern designs.
Grid is another theme that completely reimagines how Kodi should look; it doesn’t regurgitate a form of the horizontal center bar.
The developers have focused on small details rather than endless features. For example, the main menu is transparent and displayed on the left-hand side of the screen. And when you’re scrolling through your content, the entire background image changes to reflect the associated artwork. It all feels very professional.
How to Install a New Skin on Kodi
So, you’ve browsed our list of the best Kodi skins, chosen your favorite, and now you want to install the skin on the Kodi app. Don’t worry, it’s straightforward. You don’t need to visit any third-party websites.
Note: This process assumes you are running the native Estuary skin. If you have already installed another skin, you might find the menu options have moved to different parts of the screen.
First, open the Kodi app and click on Add-ons. You will find it in the menu on the left-hand side of the app.
Next, click on Download. Once again, you will find it in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.
In the main window, you should now be looking at a list of folders. Go to Look and Feel > Skin to see a list of all the skins we discussed in this article, and more. Find the skin you want to install and click on it.
Finally, select Install at the bottom of your screen.
How to Select a Different Skin on Kodi
Once the download process has finished, you need to select the skin in the Kodi settings.
Make sure you are looking at Kodi’s home screen, then click on the Settings icon (do not click the settings icon from within the Add-ons menu sub-section.)
In the main Settings menu, go to Interface Settings > Skin. Click on Skin in the main menu, and you should see any skins you downloaded in a list and available for selection.
Other Kodi Tricks You Should Know About
Installing a new Kodi skin is just one part of making the Kodi app look and behave the way you want it to look and behave.