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 is included with Kodi) 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. 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 zachmorris’ GitHub page.
1. Using a web browser, visit zackmorris GitHub page. Scroll down and download the repository zip file.
2. Installing zachmorris 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.
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, you can change YouTube’s settings later.
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
By default, IAGL will use RetroPlayer, the internal Kodi game engine. In order to run games for different platforms, Retroplayer uses a set of game emulator add-ons, also known as cores.
On Windows, macOS, Android, and LibreElec, these game emulator add-ons are already available in the official Kodi repository. Go to Add-ons > Install from Repository > Kodi Add-on Repository > Game Add-ons > Emulators to see all the available emulator add-ons.
Linux users must manually install the game emulator add-ons from the official Kodi PPA. On debian based distros, open the terminal and run the following commands before running IAGL’s setup wizard.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/xbmc-nightly
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install kodi-game*
sudo apt-get install game.libetro*
sudo apt-get install kodi-peripheral*
For more information about setting up IAGL on different platforms, using external emulators, or installing experimental Libretro cores, please read the IAGL wiki.
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 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.
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!
19. Select Browse all Lists from the IAGL main menu.
20. The list is organized by platform. Let’s select Internet Archive Best of – NES.
21. Select One Big List.
22. Choose a game.
23. Press Launch.
24. 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.
25. Press Select + X on your controller to open the in-game menu.
Some games work better with certain emulators. If a game doesn’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 allows 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 the 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 in folders outside the cache for offline gaming.
The IAGL wiki contains detailed information about all the add-on’s features, don’t forget to check it out.
- 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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