Do you need to control Kodi remotely, but are not happy with the default remote control option? Many alternative Kodi remotes are out there, falling into different categories. Let’s look at the available solutions so you can find the best Kodi remote for you.
The Different Types of Kodi Remote
The Kodi remote you’re already using is one of these standard types. But which one is it, and what is on offer if you decide to switch?
- MCE Remotes: Devices compatible with the Windows Media Center Edition standard can be used on Kodi.
- Wireless and Bluetooth remotes: Various wireless and Bluetooth remotes are available that should run with Kodi.
- CEC-Compatible remotes: With an increasing number of HDTVs, the remote can control Kodi.
- Game controllers: Whether you’re running Kodi on your game console or not, a controller can be used if compatible.
- Smartphone or tablet: This will typically be through an app, although Kodi can display a remote interface over HTTP.
- Home automation: Voice-controlled home automation solutions can be used to control Kodi.
- Voice control: Some apps have been developed that provide enable voice-based navigation of Kodi.
- Keyboard: Unsurprisingly, you have the option of a traditional keyboard.
- Browser extension: Extensions are available for popular browsers that enable remote control of Kodi.
- Your media center’s existing remote: If you have installed Kodi on your media center or set-top box, the existing remote should be adequate.
Let’s look at these Kodi remote alternatives in depth.
1. MCE Remotes
If you’re looking for a dedicated, low-cost option, MCE-compatible remotes should be your first port of call for controlling Kodi remotely from on the couch.
Typically shipping with a USB infrared receiver, MCE remotes almost always work out of the box. Additionally, their functionality is included in all-in-one remotes, so if you have one, you’ll find this works with Kodi.
2. Wireless and Bluetooth Remotes for Kodi
Many media centers come with wireless (RF) or Bluetooth remotes, or at least the option to use them. If the device you have installed Kodi on has such a remote, then you should be able to use this.
These remotes—such as the Rii Backlit Air Mouse 2.4G MX3 Pro—are ideal for navigating menus and selecting media. Sadly, inputting text can be slow, even with the onscreen keyboard, but this is a small price to pay for the convenience of a good remote control. However, more recent remotes often come with a built-in keyboard.
Meanwhile, if such devices aren’t included or supported out of the box, find out if a USB port is free. If so, you may be able to connect a wireless or Bluetooth Kodi remote that ships with its own (pre-paired) dongle.
3. CEC-Compatible Remotes Control Kodi
Now, this one may surprise you. If your HDTV has HDMI-CEC (or simply CEC, or some other similar title) functionality, your TV remote can control Kodi.
You’ll need to check the TV’s documentation in order to find out where to enable it. Note that different manufacturers have given this technology different names, based on the “Consumer Electronics Control” abbreviation. Googling your TV model name, and the term “+CEC” will help here.
For many people, this will be by far the most convenient option for Kodi remote control. It keeps control of your media center with the same device you use for your TV. Fewer remote controls always makes for a simpler life.
4. Use a Game Controller for Kodi
It really doesn’t matter what sort of game controller you’ve got. If it has a USB cable, it will almost certainly work with Kodi. If you’ve installed Kodi on your game console, simply control it with your Xbox One controller, PS4 controller, or whatever. Kodi can even be remotely controlled with a retro gaming device.
Once connected, you may need to do some configuration. In Kodi, go to Settings & System Settings and select Input & Configure attached controllers. Here, you’ll find the controller mapping window. Click Select to start, then press each button (or move the thumbstick) as it is highlighted on screen.
Soon you should have configured the controller to work with Kodi. Note that if you make a mistake, you can Reset and redo the process.
5. Try a Kodi Remote App on Your Smartphone or Tablet
Looking for something a little more convenient? There’s an official Kodi remote app for Android and iOS, which gives you full control over your media center. With a touchscreen remote, you can even enter text more easily, as it is sent via your device keyboard.
Even if you don’t use the official Kodi remote app (there may be compatibility issues), third party options are available. And if you’re still having problems, you can also use the Kodi web interface instead. Although slower than an app, the web interface nevertheless makes a convenient remote in a pinch.
6. Home Automation Control Systems for Kodi
Several professional-level products have been produced that have Kodi functionality. These are not dedicated to Kodi, however. Rather, these systems can control other technology around the home.
Kodi’s developers have been working for several years to integrate the technologies with Kodi and they’re often used in conjunction with a dedicated mobile app. Devices from Allonis, Total Control, Control 4, iRidium Mobile, and Crestron all fall under this category.
Further details and an up-to-date list of system providers can be found on the Kodi wiki.
7. Kodi Voice Control Remote Apps
Some voice control options are also available for Kodi remote control. These currently come in the shape of third-party mobile apps, although there is every chance a home automation system could introduce voice commands in future.
Rather than wearing out your thumb, a voice control app will let you instruct Kodi what to do. Want it to launch YouTube? Not a problem: just ask! Apps like Yatse and Unified Remote on Android are particularly good at this.
8. Remote Control Kodi With a Keyboard
Need a low budget, physical solution? You could just use a keyboard to remote control your Kodi. Perhaps you’re thinking of a typical USB keyboard, with a long cable trailed across the floor. This is an option, but it’s not exactly ideal. Other keyboards are available.
We’ve looked at Wi-Fi and Bluetooth remotes, but there are some handheld Bluetooth keyboards that work in the same way.
After all, it’s difficult to use Kodi (and search for content) without inputting text. Sure, the on-screen keyboard is adequate, but that’s about as good as it gets.
Perhaps you want a keyboard and mouse combination, with a built-in touchpad. Or a handheld keyboard the size of a standard remote. Whatever your preference of size and connectivity, a keyboard should be on your wishlist.
9. Use a Browser Extension as a Kodi Remote
Want to try something a bit different? If you use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, various browser extensions are available that remote control Kodi.
Examples for Chrome include:
- Play to Kodi: plays and cues your favorite online media to your Kodi device
- Kassi: a Kodi remote app for Chrome
Many others are available. As ever with extensions, take the time to check the reviews to ensure they meet the aims of the developer.
Check our round up of Kodi extensions for Firefox for relevant suggestions for that browser.
10. Control Kodi With Your Media Streamer Remote
Using an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, Roku, Apple TV, or almost any other media streamer? There is probably a version of Kodi for your device.
So, it makes sense to use the remote you already own. In some cases, this might not be ideal. For instance, if you’re particularly dissatisfied with Kodi’s on-screen keyboard, a standard remote might not work for you.
On the other hand, these remote devices have been designed with comfort and functionality in mind. They’re easy to use, and far less complex than a keyboard remote, game controller, or mobile app.
Not Happy Controlling Kodi? Then Swap Remotes!
With so many Kodi remote control options available and compatible with the majority of Kodi systems, it shouldn’t take long for you to find the remote solution to suit you.
Then you’ll be all set to start watching movies on Kodi.