Quite simply a build can be absolutely any alterations to your Kodi setup, it is basically your own (or someone else’s) customised set up of Kodi. The main attributes to a successful build are reliable add-on’s, good graphics for background, streamlining add-on’s and graphics to keep the build size to an absolute minimum to enhance performance on a wide range of devices (anything under 300mb zipped should perform well on almost all devices capable of running new versions of Kodi, 14.2 Helix and above) and regular, yet not constant, updates. Dead add-on’s are a waste of space. Personally i know what i like and have minimal add-on’s and backgrounds but it’s hard to create a build to distribute for a bigger group without trying to cater for all wants, but just try to keep things minimal as best you can. Performance over quantity every time!
Until recently i would of sworn by using Kodi version 14.2 Helix but with modifications and stability i would now recommend the latest stable release 16.1 Jarvis (in my opinion just skip isenguard and pretend its not there, i personally never bothered with it but some opinions will obviously differ)
Kodi itself will behave almost identically on whatever system its put on (depending on whether the device can run whichever version you want of course) and what ever actions you can perform on say a pc you can perform on a android box, obviously ease of access to files etc is easier on a pc but downloading/adding pictures and ‘in-Kodi’ functions should stay pretty much a carbon copy on whatever os or device.
Lets get down to it then.
A crucial tool you will need (apart from good, working, well maintained, add-on’s) is a new skin. Personally i have always used CCM Helix but at present im having trouble connecting to hybrid repo, so the alternative i use is Xonfluence which seems to be of a similar layout and to have the same customisation options. Follow How to install Xonfluence Skin to install this skin ready to customise.
From experience i now go and get the add-on’s that have been around a while and are proven to be reliable as a kind of base for your build. The steps i do, again from experience, is to think what menus you want on your build, what parts of add-on’s you want as a widget, shortcut or submenu, download some background pics to suit what your menu’s will be and then make your way through adding what shortcuts etc to favourites (any section of any add-on can be added to favourites and when used as a shortcut or submenu should react as if you’re opening that section from within the add-on itself). If you would like widgets then you can add an entire section of any add-on as a widget (the boxes that appear usually at top of build with maybe new film releases etc)
Ok so now you have all the info you need to customise your build perfectly to your liking. From now on you’ll be working from within skin settings.
Go down to Add-on Shortcuts and then make menu’s, each one will be stored as a selection of add-on shortcuts which can later be added to a menu item. Where it says user friendly name, name it, i.e. call it Movies and then add whatever add-on’s you wish to appear as shortcuts under that menu on main Kodi screen (the thumbnail images you see on builds) Then press on Select menu item and move down to another selection (the numbers are irrelevant as at the moment your just creating sets that you can link to a menu item shortly)
Once you have them set up you can now go up one, press on Submenu and do pretty much the same as with shortcuts, however they will show up as the submenu underneath the menu item that you choose to add them to shortly.
Now they are set go up one more and choose your Home menu, if you press on Menu item – 1, it will allow you to choose what happens when you press on say movies directly, you can link to a shortcut you have favourited, to a add-on, library, there’s a lot of choices so be sure to experiment, but each time you press on it remember to name it again properly (if you wish to change the colour of writing put, for example, [COLORred]name[/COLOR] and that will change name to red or [COLORred]n[COLORblue]ame[/COLOR] this will make the n red and ame blue. Then press Submenu set, Add-on set and assign the correct ones to your menu item so the will display when that menu item is displayed in Kodi. Also there is a option for widgets but they seem to be limited compared to CCM skin as default, they can be customised but one of my favourite widgets on CCM was videos-video nodes which allows you to use any section as a widget to display a whole menu, if you can get hold of CCM I would definately recommend trying it, all other info in this guide is relevant to both Xonfluence and CCM skin.
Now all you have to do is go down to backgrounds, link them to the relevant menu item and you’re good to go. If you wish to share your build make sure you add any images that you link here into your userdata folder as it is typically the userdata and addon folders that get backed up so if they are on a location on your device then they won’t be on your build to be shared and the location that Kodi is trying to get the background from will not exist. Also use a tool (or manually) edit the location in userdata to special, this simply changes to a path that Kodi understands universally across all Platforms (c://user etc on pc, android – data etc on android) and gets the path to start from the folder that contains addons and userdata folders.
This is a pretty straight forward example but hopefully shows you how to set up a build for yourself and to share with friends. As always thanks for taking the time to have a read and hope you have learnt something new. We look forward to seeing you again soon, feel free to give us a share.