The Elysium Kodi addon has stopped working and is no longer available from the NoobsandNerds repo. In this article, we’ll explain what happened, and what you can use instead.
Elysium was a popular third-party Kodi addon that scraped links to content that was hosted online. However, the NoobsandNerds repo, which hosted this addon, went offline unexpectedly on February 14th. Because there are mixed accounts of what actually happened, we’ve thoroughly researched the day’s events and will present our findings below.
It should be noted that the NoobsandNerds repository was known for hosting addons that used unofficial sources. To minimize the extent to which you are affected by third-party repo shutdowns, we recommend using only official sources when streaming content online or with Kodi.
Warning: Kodi should only be used for content to which you have the legal right to access. Neither the Kodi Foundation nor Comparitech advocates the use of Kodi for piracy.
Important: Always use a VPN with Kodi
Some Kodi users connect to a virtual private network (VPN) to conceal unlicensed streaming from their internet service provider (ISP). That said, VPNs can be highly advantageous to most people, including those who only stream content from official sources.
VPNs encrypt your network traffic, which prevents it from being read by any outside observer. This includes your ISP and anyone using a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack. Because your ISP can’t tell what exactly you’re doing, they can’t sell your browsing habits or use them as an excuse to throttle your connection speeds.
There are numerous VPN services to choose from, but it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs. For instance, if you’d like to stream HD content, you’ll want a VPN that has minimal impact on your browsing speeds and a good selection of server locations.
We recommend IPVanish. Unlike most other VPN providers, IPVanish owns their servers outright. This allows them to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. Also, IPVanish offers fast speeds, access to servers all across the world, and dedicated apps for Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV devices.
What happened to Elysium?
The first indication that anything was wrong was that the NoobsandNerds website went offline. Interestingly, the site appears to have been taken offline by the web hosting company rather than the NoobsandNerds team themselves. Assuming the hosting bills were paid up to date, this suggests that the host was contacted by a legal entity of some sort.
OpenELEQ, one of NoobsandNerds’ most prominent developers, later confirmed that this was the case, saying that the team had ceased development rather than fight a difficult legal battle. An article from TorrentFreak later confirmed that it was the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), that was behind the letter and the subsequent shutdown.
The NoobsandNerds Twitter account was also deleted. We’ve seen this happen before, when third-party Kodi addon developers were threatened by the MPAA and ACE, organizations which accused the developers of enabling copyright infringement. Sure enough, soon after, TVAddons reported that the lead NoobsandNerds developer had been visited at their home, although it’s unclear which organization actually showed up, or what they said. However, one Reddit account suspected to belong to TVAddons developers or associates suggested that the NaN developers gave away user databases, a charge previously thrown at TVA’s Adam Lackman following his interrogation episode.
There’s no indication as yet whether the NoobsandNerds team were simply threatened with a lawsuit or whether one is pending; however, the end result is the same: the NoobsandNerds site is down and with no indication regarding whether it will be coming back. OpenELEQ has said that his GitHub account will remain active to prevent it from being acquired by a third party, as with the lewblack125 account.
The Kodi community was split on TVAddons’ announcement. Some resented that TVAddons had taken the opportunity to rub salt in the wound with comments like “Although certain members of NaN would from time to time attack our community, we never spoke ill of them,” and calling them a “smaller unofficial Kodi website.” TVAddons has always had a strong rivalry with NoobsandNerds, but it seems slightly suspect to take the moral high ground when TVAddons are still facing legal troubles of their own.
How to keep your system safe
Usually when repositories go offline, we recommend turning off automatic updates if you haven’t already. In this instance, at least some of the NoobsandNerds team are aware of the GitHub hijacking issue, and are keeping their pages active to prevent it. OpenELEQ, developer of the Metalliq addon, for example, stated that he will be keeping his GitHub open to avoid this issue. However, there’s no guarantee that all developers will follow suit.
To turn off automatic updates in Kodi, click the gear icon on the home screen. Next, choose the System Settings option on the right-hand side of the page. Select add-ons in the list on the left, then move across to the right. Click the Updates option and select Notify, but don’t install updates. This option will let you know whenever an addon has a pending update so that you can research it yourself and make sure it’s safe to install. We recommend waiting around two weeks in order for the community to vet any updates properly. Then, check official and third-party forums to see if any issues or warnings have been issued.
Whenever a high-profile repository or addon goes down, it’s usually only a matter of days before someone else claims to have a working version available. The problem is that these sources very rarely offer what they claim to. At best, you have a semi-functional addon that won’t be receiving any updates in the future. At worst, the addon contains malware and you’ve just granted an attacker access to your system.
Alternatives to the Elysium addon
You don’t have to give up on Kodi just because Elysium is gone. There are dozens of high-quality official addons that provide a comparable experience. Better yet, they’re all completely legal to use and therefore, are not at risk of being taken down.
Tubi TV is a streaming service that offers the second-largest library of any online platform. Netflix’s library is slightly larger, but unlike Netflix, Tubi TV is completely free to use. It can be watched from almost anywhere in the world, although not all content is available in every country.
In contrast to most other free streaming services, Tubi TV boasts a strong selection of well-known titles including The Inbetweeners, Hard Candy, and Death Note. Its content is neatly organized into categories too, so it’s easy to find something to watch.
Tubi TV is available in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. It employs geographic content blocking and has different content libraries in each country. As with Netflix, if you want to access the full library of titles (over 50,000 movies and TV episodes with over 600 titles rated “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes), you’ll need to use a VPN to bypass those restrictions. Thankfully, Tubi TV does not block proxies so a VPN will work.
Big Star Movies & TV
Big Star Movies is another streaming platform, similar to Tubi TV. While Big Star’s website allows you to rent movies that aren’t available for free, the addon does not. This means that all the addon’s content can be watched immediately, and there’s no chance of an attacker gaining access to your payment details.
The majority of Big Star’s movies aren’t particularly well known. However, this addon is an excellent place to watch TV shows. There are classics like Peep Show, Lip Service, and Queer as Folk, plus a host of special interest shows. There’s also a search function in case you’re looking for something specific.
The Big Star Movies & TV addon can be found in the MetalChris repository.
Crackle is a streaming service with one major difference: it’s owned by Sony, a company with the funds required to secure well-known titles. Crackle uses ads to generate revenue, but as ads are inherently blocked on Kodi, these aren’t present in the Kodi addon. There’s nothing to stop you from watching to your heart’s content without interruption.
While it doesn’t have as many titles as some other services, the ones it does have are more recognisable. For instance, there’s Heroes, House of Flying Daggers, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Admittedly, most of Crackle’s content is a few years old, but considering it’s a free service, it’s difficult to complain.
SnagFilms offers a collection of more than 5000 free-to-watch independent films. Most of its content is available in high-definition. Titles are grouped by genre and the categories are more in-depth than you’d usually find. This organizational system helps offset the lack of a search function.
Snagfilms has no configurable options. This means that it’s very simple to use; just install it and start streaming. On the other hand, because this service can’t generate income via ads on Kodi, its functionality is pretty basic.
The Snagfilms addon is available from the official Kodi addon repository.
We’ve seen an increase in the number of third-party Kodi addon developers receiving cease and desist letters recently. Elysium may be one of the latest addons to go, but it’s almost certainly not the last.
If you’d like to ensure your Kodi media center isn’t affected by these takedowns, you might want to consider using only official addons. We’ve written guides to the best addons for movies, sports, and kid’s shows to help you get started.