Kodi is unbeatable when we talk about movie and TV streaming. Having a bit of tech knowledge and a spare evening, you can create a steaming powerhouse based on this open-source media player. Frankly, limited libraries of Netflix and Amazon don’t even get a chance to compete with the freedom that comes with Kodi.
This is what you could have already known about the app. However, not all web users are aware of their ability to launch games. Yet since Kodi is not a content provider itself, you’ll need to install gaming emulators to run game ROMs inside the program. Kodi is especially popular among retro games fans, as most of them can’t be installed on today’s PCs straight away.
Even if you’re a constant Kodi user and heavily utilize it for watching videos, a game installation process is somewhat trickier, as the platform was not initially designed for this purpose. “How to add a game addon to Kodi” can be compared to “how to make your online game website” question in terms of complexity. Even using a site builder, you’ll still need to get hosting, buy an SSL certificate, conduct SEO audit, etc. The same is with Kodi addons — they are quite far from a “set and forget” concept.
But even though you need to involve some brainpower to handle this task, it’s not that intimidating as it might seem. Kodi developers a new plugin called Kodi RetroPlayer, which emulates most popular old-gen consoles like Nintendo 64, Game Boy Classic, Atari, Sega Genesis, and more. Thus, you can play authentic retro games on your state-of-the-art PC, smartphone, or tablet.
But most interesting, you can launch them on a Smart TV, which means that you can get the console experience without owning one. All you need to have is a working controller and make Kodi recognize it.
To run your games through RetroPlayer, you will need to install and setup some add-ons that give you access to huge libraries of game ROMs. In this article, we gathered the top 5 gaming add-ons meant for Kodi to help you decide which you’ll settle on.
- Internet Archive ROM Launcher
Internet archive is known for the largest collection of digital information with free public access. And along with other media files, it stores over 10,000 of old video games as well.
That is why Internet Archive ROM Launcher is probably the most popular among Kodi game addons for playing retro titles. The vast collection of games and legal access to them is what makes up its major advantage.
The service is cloud-based, so you don’t need to download each title to your PC or another device. All titles are stored on their server and can be launched instantly at any moment. That’s extremely handy for Smart TV users or owners of mobile devices with limited storage.
- Free ROMs Downloader
This addon is very similar to the previous one, offering thousands of retro games at once. It’s very handy to use on a firestick TV device as well, yet it requires downloading of the chosen games.
Free ROMs Downloader can’t launch games on its own, so you’ll need a standalone emulator. But despite these deficiencies, the addon is considered very handy by Kodi users. It’s praised for its clean UI and is free to use. The downloader is available in the repository, just like most of the addons.
- Steam Launcher
This one makes sense to utilize only if you are going to launch Steam games on your TV. Steam Launcher addon allows you to integrate Steam with Kodi and optimize the app for the TV screen. This one is nothing special, as you use it only to access your favorite titles through Kodi for a console-like experience. Yet, it’s a must-have addon for anybody who likes to play contemporary games from time to time.
Kodi itself is free of charge, but Steam games usually require a purchase, so be ready for additional expenses, if you want to try popular titles like GTA 5, Witcher 3, or Watch Dogs 2 on your TV.
- ROM Collection Browser
ROM Collection Browser is not a downloader. It’s merely a browser that helps you to find the needed title in your ROM library. However, the addon is useful for those who prefer using their own emulators for playing retro games. In this case, you can use ROM Collection Browser as a bridge between Kodi, your ROM collection, and an external emulator.
- Advanced Launcher
Advanced Launcher is tailored not only to take care of your game collection but also can run any other kind of application directly in Kodi, including emulators. This one is suitable for both retro and modern games as well as other kinds of software. It’s also possible to edit and download images related to these apps.