Changing Kodi Skins
Changing skins is a great way to get a whole new look and feel for your Kodi experience. The best part is that it’s easy to change skins and you can do it as often as you like.
For Kodi 16, skins hold their settings in individual settings files. These files are found within your platform-unique “userdata” area, in the “addon_data” subfolder. Note that if you use profiles, there will be a separate “addon_data” folder for each profile. (In normal use, there is no need for users to directly access these files.)
Although Kodi includes all of the skins below in their official repository, every single Kodi installation starts with Confluence.
Confluence has been the default Kodi skin since version 9.11. It’s the interface you’ll see in just about every single image on this Kodi setup guide, as well as on most of the articles and videos on the web.
On first installation, Confluence has a simple interface with the main commands listed horizontally along the center ribbon. Once movies and music are added to the library, the five most recently added albums thumbnails will take up most of the top half of the screen. You’ll see this layout common among many of the third-party Kodi skins, but it all started with Confluence.
Confluence may be the default skin, but Aeon Nox is hands-down one of the most popular add-on skins.
Customizable menu layouts including a grid layout (Wall), sliding Landscape view, List (with or without movie info), or even a banner list to get the maximum number of titles on the screen at one time. Or you can even go the minimalist way and simply show the movie logo with a full-screen fan-art.
Aeon Nox is a beautiful Kodi skin that puts your media libraries the focal piece for your home theater device.
Black Glass Nova moves the center command ribbon down to the bottom in order to free up the upper 2/3 of the screen for background images which change depending on your selections.
For example, in the image on the left, the image of WALL-E and Eve will show up whenever you settle on the Movies tab. If you move to the left, the background image will change to the camcorder or USK flash-key when you land on Videos or Add-Ons.
Black Glass Nova offers many of the same menu options as Aeon Nox, but opts for a more “sci-fi” feel.
Obvious Superman reference aside, Metropolis is a great skin if you like to have as much information on the screen at one time.
It walks the tightrope between informative and overwhelming fairly well. For example, when scrolling through movies you can see the resolution, aspect ratio, media codec, source (DVD\BluRay), audio information, and much, much more – all at a glance.
It may be too much information for a lot of people, but if you’re a movie buff who’s going to pick a movie based on all the little details, this Kodi skin may be just what you’re looking for.
Mimic’s developer described it as “a shameless amalgamation of features from my favorite skins, including Aeron Nox, reFocus and Acrtic Zephyr.”
Mimic has a modern Android “material design” feel to it, which makes it feel snappy and responsive. I like Mimic because you can make it as simple or as graphic as you like.
The image to the left shows a clean simple, installation, with no-frills or distractions. But, since Mimic was based on Aeon Nox, you can still customize layouts for your movies and music in dozens of different combinations.
I have to admit that Nebula isn’t one of my favorite skins. The design is extremely clean, using sharp contrasting light and dark themes in order to stand out on HD TV screens. Artwork is kept to a minimum in the default settings, opting for a nicely framed thumbnail and lots of negative space.
Personally. it reminds me too much of an Apple device. The white background looks too sterile and lifeless, lacking much of the easy-to-access information that is common in many of the other skins.
If you’re new to the Android world, this may be just what many people are looking for.
Like Mimic, Phenomenal has a modern, “material design” feel to it. What sets Phenomenal apart is that it makes better use of custom fan-art to make selecting a movie or TV show a more interactive experience.
The menu system in Phenomenal pops out from the right side of the screen, with extra levels of the menu continuing to move left into the viewable area. Icons such as Settings, Power and Favorites are animated, which is a nice touch. Collections of movies which have multiple discs have their own animations which really adds to the polish of this skin.
Think of Rapier as Confluence on steroids. At first glance, the color scheme is the familiar Kodi-blue, but you can change this to either red or orange as well. The ribbon is locked against the bottom of the screen which leaves enough room for an information panel and a very large icon above your menu choice.
One thing to note: Rapier requires eleven additional Add-ons in order to work as designed.
Several of these are add-ons you’ll probably be installing anyway. However, if you like running a lean, “no frills”Kodi installation, this probably isn’t the skin for you.
Titan is a port of the MediaPortal Titan skin, but tweaked for Kodi. The look and feel of the skin is modern, but not quite material design, opting for a simple font type and better menu structure.
Like several of the other skins on this list, you can view your media library several different ways in Titan. You can opt for an icon wall, or a simple list of movies, and almost everything in between.
What sets this theme apart is that Titan provides almost as much information about each title as Metropolis, but in an easier to read format. The text may be smaller and less flashy, but it stands out better due to better organization and improved readability.
If you like your fanart, then Transparency! is the skin for you. It offers a ton of different library views including scrolling “DVD cases” or several different versions of the animated “poster wall” style interfaces. If you want something a bit more on the normal side, there’s also usual information list view.
Transparency! is certainly one of the most flashy Kodi skins that I’ve seen. If you’re the person who likes to show off your system to your friends, then you should definitely check out this skin.