You’ll need three things to play retro games on Kodi: a game ROM image, an emulator to run the game, and a gamepad or controller.
Retroplayer (which has been included in Kodi since version 18) will help you select and install the appropriate emulator from the official Kodi repository. In fact, if you already own ROMs of your favorite games you can run them on Kodi without the need for external add-ons.
To get game ROMs on Kodi we’ll use Internet Archive Game Launcher (IAGL), an add-on that allows you to browse and download ROMs from the Internet Archive, a non-profit library containing millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more.
In this guide, we are going to install IAGL on Kodi 19 Matrix. Let’s get started!
If this is the first time you install add-ons on Kodi, you’ll have to allow the installation of unofficial add-ons. Please read How to allow 3rd-party add-ons on Kodi and come back here when you’re ready.
1. Downloading the repository zip file
First, let’s download the repository zip file for IAGL from its official source on zach-morris’ Github page.
1. Go to the IAGL add-on GitHub page. Scroll down, and download the repository zip file.
Alternatively, you can download the repository zip file from the IAGL repository Github page. Both pages are by the same author.
2. Installing zach-morris repository
The repository is responsible for installing and updating the add-on. Let’s use the file we’ve just downloaded to install the repo on Kodi.
2. Press the cog icon near the top left corner of the Home Screen.
3. Select Add-ons.
4. Press Install from zip file.
On Kodi 19, you’ll see a message about the auto-update feature. Press Yes to continue.
5. Locate the recently downloaded file and click on it to install the repository.
3. Installing IAGL on Kodi
Now that the repository is installed, let’s use it to install Internet Archive Game Launcher on Kodi.
6. Select Install from repository.
7. Click on Zack Morris Add-ons to open the repository.
8. Select Video add-ons.
9. Now select Internet Archive Game Launcher.
10. Press the Install button.
11. You’ll see a list of dependencies to be installed with the add-on. Press OK and wait for the installation process to finish.
You’ll be prompted to run the YouTube setup wizard, press No to use the default settings on the YouTube add-on.
12. Go back to the Home Screen, highlight the Add-ons tab, and select Internet Archive Game Launcher.
4. Setting up Internet Archive Game Launcher
13. Press Yes to execute the Setup Wizard.
14. Now press OK.
15. Some game lists require an archive.org account. Press Yes to enter your account info or No to continue without an account.
Using an archive.org account is not required but some game lists may not work without one. You can always create an account and enter the corresponding data later.
16. Now select Kodi Retroplayer as a launcher.
17. You’ll be prompted to install the emulators. Press Choose on launch (Auto).
There are many emulators for many different platforms, installing all of them can be time-consuming. Pressing Choose on launch will let you select and install the emulators before launching a game.
18. Press OK.
19. We recommend pre-caching the game lists, Press Yes and wait a couple of minutes for the process to finish.
Pre-caching all the game lists can take several minutes on low-powered devices but will significantly speed up browsing the add-on’s menu later.
5. Playing games on Kodi with IAGL
Now that we installed and configured Internet Archive Game Launcher on Kodi, let’s play some retro games!
20. Select Browse all Lists from the IAGL main menu.
21. The list is organized by platform. Let’s select Internet Archive Best of – NES.
22. Select One Big List.
23. Choose a game.
24. Press Launch.
25. Now select an emulator.
IAGL will download the ROM from the Internet Archive and Retroplayer will install the emulator from the official Kodi repository. After the process is finished, the emulator will launch.
26. Press Select + X on your controller to open the in-game menu.
Some games work better with certain emulators. If a game won’t start or work properly, try choosing another emulator from the list. Sometimes you’ll have to try a couple of emulators to find the one that works best for you.
6. Changing IAGL cache size
Game ROM files are stored in a temporary cache folder. By default, the allowed cache size is 0 so IAGL won’t keep any ROM in the cache. This means that you’ll have to download the ROM file every time you want to play a game.
Increasing the cache size will allow IAGL to keep the files, the size of the folder depends on the kind of games you play. ROMs for older platforms are just a few KB while some games for newer platforms can take hundreds of MB.
The cache folder path is <path_to_kodi>/userdata/addon_data/plugin.program.iagl/game_cache
I. Highlight (do not press) Internet Archive Game Launcher, open the Context Menu, and select Settings.
(Note: To open the Context Menu press C on the keyboard, long-press on touch devices, menu key on the remote, or right-click with the mouse)
II. Select the General tab, scroll down to Cache Size (MB) and increase the cache size to your needs. Press OK to save the changes.
Now the ROM files will stay on the cache folder, just be aware that IAGL will clean the folder once the size limit is reached.
7. Adding games to favorites list
Internet Archive Game Launcher has a favorites list so you can bookmark your favorite games and create custom lists.
I. Open the Context Menu on a game and select Add to IAGL Favorites.
II. Press Create New Favorite List.
III. Set a name for your list.
The game will be added to your list. You can create many lists to organize your games to your liking.
VI. To access your favorite lists use Favorites on the IAGL main menu.
You’re ready to play some retro games on Kodi with Internet Archive Game Launcher.
IAGL offers many more ways to customize your experience like replacing Retroplayer with external emulators (like RetroArch, MAME, or Dolphin) and storing ROMS on folders outside the cache for offline gaming. Check out the IAGL wiki for more information.
- Internet Archive Game Launcher (IAGL) add-on on Github
- Internet Archive Game Launcher (IAGL) wiki
- Internet Archive Game Launcher (IAGL) FAQ
- Please donate to archive.org and help promote Universal Access to All Knowledge.
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