Are you sick of Kodi’s current look?  Are you wanting to improve your Kodi viewing experience with a new, fresh looking Kodi skin, but don’t know where to start?

There are a lot of Kodi skins, and it’s time-consuming to try out each one that you find.  I know, I’ve tried a lot!

In this post, I’ll share with you my very favorite Kodi skins to improve your Kodi experience and to save you the time of trying them all.

My Judging Criteria for Kodi Skins

I have a certain set of requirements for my favorite Kodi skins.

To explain why I picked the ones I picked, here are my criteria:

  • It’s got to look good, of course!
  • It needs to display the navigation and lists in an intuitive fashion.
  • It needs to have a lot of view layouts available to choose from.
  • I want the ability to modify the main menu items and sub-menu items.
  • I want to be able to add home screen widgets that can pull from a screen within a streaming add-on (like Trakt New Episodes).
  • Having a slide-out sidebar shortcut to the current add-on’s settings window is a plus!

Estuary

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Now, I know what you might be thinking… This isn’t a custom skin. It’s the default!

If you’re fairly new to Kodi, or have installed it from scratch since Kodi 17 Krypton, then yes, you are correct.  Estuary is the default skin that came with Kodi 17.

However, if you’ve been using the same installation of Kodi since version 16 or earlier, then you might still be using the old default skin, Confluence.  Confluence was the default skin for Kodi for a very long time, long before Kodi was called XBMC.

If you’re still using Confluence, I suggest giving Estuary a try.  I found it to be a very nice upgrade.

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The look in Estuary was much improved over Confluence by going with a more modern flat design with subtle gradients, shadows, and transparencies.

Estuary also came with a nicer way to display library content widgets on the home screen.

Estuary Library Widgets

The downside, is those nice home screen widgets only worked for library content.  If you are using a streaming add-on, then you won’t be able to see your favorite shows or new episodes on your home screen unless you setup library integration.

But one upside, is that the Estuary skin does have the add-on settings shortcut in the slide-out sidebar.  This is super handy if you are inside a streaming add-on, and you want to tweak the settings a bit.  Instead of having to back all the way out the to add-on’s main screen to go to Tools or Settings, you can access the settings from the slide-out menu, and the settings open in a popup window, so you don’t lose your place.

Arctic Zephr

Arctic Zephr Home Screen

The Arctic: Zephr themes is one of my all-time favorite Kodi skins and has been for a long time primarily because of the home screen widgets that you can configure.

I’ve written a tutorial specifically on how to configure these spotlight widgets on the Arctic Zephr skin.

You can configure different widgets that pull from different screens nested deep inside streaming add-ons, and it will pull in all of the information, poster, and fanart for each of the items on that screen and display it beautifully on the home screen.

Arctic Zephr Home Screen

Just press the up button and start scrolling left or right to highlight each episode and watch the details and fanart background change.

This skin definitely gets a very high score from me in the aesthetics department.  The light, clean, minimalist, and functional design lets the posters and fanart stand out, and it looks gorgeous on my TV.

Arctic Zephr Settings

You can even completely customize your main menu items and submenu items to point to wherever you want, even a shortcut deep inside a specific add-on if you want.

Unfortunately, this skin does have some downsides.

First, while this spotlight widget that I’m raving about so much used to work great, I’ve found lately that I can’t click on any of the items.  I don’t know if it’s just my setup, or if the skin is incompatible with the latest Kodi version.  I still like to have it so I can see the latest episodes, but then I just use a menu item or submenu item to go to the screen where I see the same items to click on them.

Secondly, it does not have the add-on settings shortcut in the slide-out side menu, so if you want to go change the add-on’s settings, you have to back out of where you are and go back to it when you’re done.  That’s kind of a nuisance if you find yourself tweaking your settings a lot.

Aeon Nox

Aeon Nox Home

The Aeon Nox Kodi skin was one of my favorites for many years in the earlier days of Kodi, even when it was XBMC.

It’s been continued to be maintained since then, and is still one of the best Kodi skins out there.

One advantage of this skin is that it is very configurable.  The skin settings has a ton of stuff that you can change.  But, at the same time, it looks great out of the box.

The design of Aeon Nox is very refined and nice looking.  I like the dark, glowing, shadows, and glass look throughout the skin.

It does have the ability to configure home screen widgets that point to screens within add-ons.  However, it’s not nearly as nice looking (IMO) as the widgets on Arctic Zephr.

Aeon Nox Home Screen Widget

You can see they decided to show a vertical list to the right for some reason.  You can only see the poster and fanart for the one that is currently selected.  I much prefer seeing a row of posters.

Another advantage of Aeon Nox is the link to Add-on settings in the sidebar that you can see in this screenshot.

Aeon Nox View Options

It also has a lot of view layouts to choose from; much more than most skins.  Here is one of my favorites called Wall.

Aeon Nox Wall View

Andromeda

Andromeda skin add-ons

If you’re a fan of minimalist design, the Andromeda skin is another very nice option.

It has a fairly unique home screen design with the menu items on the top, with their submenu items above them.  It looks a little odd until you figure it out since the submenu items are aligned with other main menu items even though they are not related.

On top of that (literally), they’ve buried a lot of the utility buttons like favorites, search, weather, settings, power, and volume controls.

Andromeda skin settings button

I was happy to see they have the ability to setup widgets under each main menu item, and you can have them pull from add-on screens.  To go one step further, they allow you to add up to 5 different widgets for each menu item.  The rows for each widget stack on top of each other, so you scroll down to see the other widgets.

Andromeda skin widget

Unfortunately, one downside is the lack of the add-on settings shortcut in the slide-out side menu.

Your Favorites?

Now let me hear from all of you!  What are your favorite Kodi skins?

Let me know in the comments below.

14 comments on “The Best Kodi Skins of 2018 (for Streaming Add-ons)

  1. Michael Daniels on

    I have a couple of problems that I’m hoping someone can help me with. The main problem I have is I’m using nolimitsbuilds for my main build and I’m not sure if this build is causing the problem I have or if it’s something else. Here’s my problem; When I’m watching a series of programs, I can’t seem to watch the first season or even the second or third, it simply won’t give me any links and it say “No Stream Available” The second problem I have is while I’m watching something, my kodi will kick me out and send me to my home page and I have to start all over again, like I have to click on the kodi emblem and start up my kodi. I’m using Kodi/Krypton 17.6 and I have a brand spanking new TX3 Pro android box with a brand new Either heavy duty cable. I’ve had my cable provider here 3 different times trouble shooting and fixing what they could find but it’s still doing it. So, Should I try a different build or maybe no build at all and just use a skin? I love the Aeon Nox that come with the nolimitsbuilds though and I hate to lose it but I don’t knowwhat else to try. Can anyone help?

    Reply
    • Nathan Kinkead on

      I suggest starting from scratch. Build have too much in them that you don’t know about. Too much to go wrong. I like to install plain vanilla Kodi and then only the add-ons I want. You can easily install Aeon Nox on plain Kodi. You don’t need a build for that.

      Reply
  2. Nathan Kinkead on

    Woah… that’s a lot of info. Ok, let me break this down because I’m thinking about exploring more APKs and blogging about them. So, you’re using Mobdro, LiveNetTV, TV Zion, and Terrarium? Any others worth mentioning? Maybe you should submit a guest blog.

    Are you asking what my wifi speeds are? Here they are http://www.speedtest.net/result/7609072913

    Or are you asking how much speed is necessary for streaming? That totally depends on the size of videos you try to watch. 720, 1080, 4K

    Why are you going to miss Morpheus?

    Reply
    • Victoria Pennington on

      You have got to check out this video on you tube. Its called WATCH TV FREE in redb letters. The guys name is Tunis in thme weird white mask with goofy looking eyes!!!! People cant figure out if its free…not free or what the heck. They are trying to be incognito which is kool but they are being toooo weird aboutj it!!

      Reply
  3. Victoria Pennington on

    I just looked at your speed and wow im seriously crawling arent i??? I do get a lower price on my internet due to income but geez …im going to have to figure this out. I watch way too much tv to be dealing with a creeping internet. I have 24 stand alone. With 2 broadbands. Should it be this slow??? Sorry to be so inquisitive but how else does a person learn right?

    Reply
  4. Michael Daniels on

    No I don’t use Mobdro. I use playersklub and I also use Vader’s streaming because of the sports. I have them because They have a clean TV Guide that’s easy to install. My problem is my Kodi keeps crashing.

    Reply
    • Victoria Pennington on

      I did not have good luck with PK. Never wanted to open…..I use Mobdro apk daily. But something weird is going on with streaming since wknd…its horrible and shows coming up in wrong places!!! I hate paying ATT or any cable company…im done with that. Its just tv…life goes on!!

      Reply
  5. Michael Daniels on

    I use an Android box However, I found the problem and it had nothing to do with my box or Kodi. It turned out that Cox, my cable provider had to replace some of my cables because they corroded so bad that I kept losing connections. I hope everyone reads this because that’s a serious problem with anyones service.If your connections are starting to or are corroded, you need to replace them because you have a good connection.

    Reply
    • Victoria Pennington on

      Wow…how old were they?? But thats a point. They always say too …to ck plug and cables before calling your internet provider. Well…duh right? Great…glad its all fixed!

      Reply
      • Michael Daniels on

        Well, according to the cable man they have been here since we moved in and that’s been 10 years. They were so bad he said it’s a wonder we even had any internet at all. I mean, they replaced the Modem, the entire outside cables so everything was new from the cable box to the outlet where it comes into my apt. I should of taken a picture of them and posted them on here to make people aware of how NOT to let this problem go. But in all honestly, you know how the hustle bustle of everything in your life goes, You overlook the simple things in just about every area of your life and you never thinks of something so simple as your cable connections. Oh well, Thank God that’s a problem I won’t have to worry about but I’ll try to keep it in mind as well.

        Reply
          • Michael Daniels on

            Well. even though that was a huge problem it didn’t fix the problem I’m having with the crashing.
            I’m really disgusted now. I don’t know what else the problem could be? I had a technician out here again yesterday and everything’s fine here as far as the cable connections and fittings. The only other thing it could be is the box I’m using. I have a 100 mbps of speed. I ordered a new box from Amazon that’s a little better as far as the processor and the Rom. I’m sending this one back. Do you know anyone else that uses a TX3 Pro android box? That’s having problems crashing?

          • Victoria Pennington on

            I dont know anyone at all that has a TX3 Pro box. Dont really know what that is??? You dont have a regular firestick? I know all this stuff gets frustrating. I just lost all of Mobdro…i think it could be due to all the rain we are getting. Im in OH. I dont know. And i love it when im watching a show and half way thru it changes to a diff show! Its all crazy. I try to just go with the flow and then switch to Morpheus and watch playback shows …it always works. Bummer the developer is shutting it down.

  6. Michael Daniels on

    Fair WARNING to everyone. If anyone’s connection cables are corroded or even slightly corroded, you need to replace them or you will have interference with your service. Unscrew any cable connections you have and inspect them, you better have good eyes or a magnifying glass to see it but believe me if it’s corroded you will see it. What you want to see is bright clear copper look or clean wire tips on the wire connect itself.

    Reply

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