A complete guide to the Ares Wizard, having seen some confusion over what this does. A wizard seems to imply this is a custom build in itself and its not, its simply an add on to simplify maintenance, cache tweaks, custom builds,  repo and add on installation. It has a unique cache setup tool, so no more “random” YouTube non-fixes, ha!


This add on is “unofficial” and therefore not supported by Kodi Tv or XMBC foundations, please do not ask on their forums for help, go to ares-project.uk for further support. 

You can unblock many “dns censored” sources with a smartdns solution with no loss of line speed;

smart dns, unblock kodi sources, private dns, uncensored dns, unblockr

If you use p2p add ons, torrents, or in countries that prohibit streaming use a vpn from a reputable provider like Private Internet Access.

private internet access, pia, vpn, paid versus free vpn


You can install easily – follow the basic install for any repo – links and urls included here – install any repo

You can find the dev (Mark Dobson) on the Ares Project forum; future/ early release info will go via the forum, where you can find out about other add ons within the Ares Project

Adding builds To The Ares Wizard?

You can have your build added to the Wizard and even get free hosting, within reason of course, the catch? You need to use the Ares Forum, to support and advertise your build. If you are active there, Ares will host your build on a community server – or simply get your own hosting and submit your links here;

Register My Build Here

Ares Wizard is only available in the Ares Project repository;

Follow this install guide; Install Ares Wizard

This Wizard can be found in Program add-ons. Yes, it has links to many popular builds, which simplifies finding links…and changing your mind (!) – but its not a build in itself and that’s an important distinction here. You can add this to any build, though I suspect this will become an almost default add-on for most, but for “non build” users, you can simply add this in the normal way.

Ares Wizard Features

I'll try to cover all the main features;

  • Build List in 3 Sections – Ares Hosted, being first.
  • Browse Add-ons
    • Video add ons
    • Program Add ons
    • Repository Installer
    • Android Apps
    • Android IPTv Apps
    • Android Launchers
    • Android Games
    • Kodi, Forks & modified versions
  • Maintenance Section (thumbs, cache, packages)
    • Configurable reminder popup too!
  • Backup – Guide Here
  •  Tweaks
    • Url patches – Primewire /Icefilms
    • Cache Setup (helps with VoD buffering.. Completely automatic video cache tweaking.. another Kodi 1st..)
  • More
    • Upload Kodi log
    • Internet Speed Test
    • Erase data/fresh start (for installing new custom build)
  • Settings
    • General – device ID etc
    • Build – check for update settings
    • Stats – how much as been cleared etc
    • An adult content filter

Custom Build List

The familiar build list remains, with a few changes, the introduction of a “pin” system, its very simple and takes only an extra 30s to complete.

ares wizard build list

Build using the new pin system will have a pop up requesting a pin, pins will change every 30m, so plenty of time to get a build installed without any issues. As you can see below – every option has been covered – many devices won't have a browser, so you can opt to install Chrome, if hitting the “Get Pin” button does nothing. You can also scan the QR code with a phone or tab to get it too.

ares wizard pin system

Clicking “get pin” or scanning or even manually entering the displayed url, will open this page;

Simply click the “enter pin”, key in the 4 digit number and off you go.

Build update notice:

Hidden in the Ares Wizard settings is an option to notify if the build you use, has an update – this is optional, its not always required…

ares wizard build update notice

Simple, Easy Installs

You should now be able install builds on devices without having to force close\power reset, although its not perfect as there are so many possible variations – but follow the dialogue as its displayed.

There is also a lot more error checking\avoidance in the build install process vs other wizards.. so the build is much more likely to install through Ares than any other wizard.

When you install you can opt to “Backup the GUI” – if you have experienced your build vanishing, then this option can prevent that – only available at install – it will make a backup of your GUI (build), if it fails, you can then return to the build you have install in the build table and use the “repair” opton.

You will of course need to do a fresh start first (under the “More” button options) to install from fresh.

Browse Add-ons

This section has a list of popular add-ons and repositories that will now doubt grow and grow over the weeks, but a simple colour reference gives a visual guide as to what's installed or not. The are also a number of Android specific sections here,

  • Click Browse Add ons

You will have the familiar options to install Video, Program addons and their repositories – great for adding things missing from your build, but also only ever uses the official repositories.

In addition you will see the options for Android Apps, IPTV apps, Launchers, Games and Kodi forks.

  • Click Video Add Ons to see  the options

A simple Colour scheme shows the add on status and you can chose to install as required. It will even prompt you if you don't have the right official repo installed and do that for you as well. Nice touch.

  • Green – installed
  • Purple – not installed

Browse Repos

This is much as you'd expect, having seen the browse add-on options, same colour scheme for status is used and the same install/uninstall functions. Its worth noting that the list scrolls to reveal more repos.

To open the following Android sections a pin is required, as with the builds this is a simple process, click get pin, a page will pop up, not the pin and enter it as below. The pin stays active for 20m.

if the pin doesn’t show – you can try to install chrome and try again, or you can enter the url in yellow direct into a browser and get the pin that way. You may also have issues with “ISP security” – you can check and remove this by following our ISP Blocking guide

Android Apps

A whole stack of great tools are listed here, game controller adaptors, WiFi analyzer, Fing, ES FE, a great selection for any droid device.

ares wizard android apps

Android IPTV

We have all experienced the frustration of not being able to get a good link for something, so included here are a bunch of well known ‘droid IPTV apps as a backup for you.

ares wizard iptv apps

Android Launchers

Included is a selection of ‘droid launchers – for non FireTV products and possibly a few other “Non root” devices…

Android Games

Probably the most sought after addition sine Ares itself was created, retro gaming!

Well the retro game packs are here, plus a stack of native ‘droid games too, all for free – happy days!

Maintenance

Ok this is where this Wizard starts to come into its own for me, there are many tools and wizards out there, but none with this sort of maintenance options, great for experienced and noobs alike.

So you can see the graphical layout here, with a traffic light warning system as well as how many files and the space they’re taking up. Some nice detailed touches for cache that allow you to pickout certain addons known to create their own cache files that may get missed in other wizards.

Maintenance Popup Reminder

ares wizard reminder

Maintenance Reminders – this is a unique touch, activate this and chose how often to be reminded. For me, weekly is overkill, so I'd opt for monthly as generally packages and cache files should look after themselves for the most part, but thumbs can be a real storage muncher, so keep an eye on these. If you prefer not to be reminded, just deactivate and restart Kodi.

The automatic options is not activated at this time.

Backup

The March update has seen this facility activate, a complete guide here, but essentially this tools gives you control over what you backup;

Tweaks

The title belies what's happening in these options, as the Ares has one of the best cache configuration tools I've seen. Its been something of a long standing bugbear of mine with so many myths with setting up cache (its not diffcult, read the wiki or check my other post as to how to manual setup cache and some unique firestick tweaks )

Clicking the Advanced settings wizard inside tweaks, brings up a basic explanation of Kodi video cache and what it can do. Clicking the next button brings up this screen;

These are the settings we can tweak in Kodi XML to help minimise buffering, although its worth noting, live streams cannot be cached (take note!), for the inexperienced this may look daunting, but a safe set of options has been pre-determined, so just click “apply these settings

The more experienced can still make changes by use to the slider on each bar. Its not clear to be honest, but they do have sliders and they can be moved as required. There are some safety limits built in, so the techs will have to use the manual way via EAS.

This is the one single thing you should install the Ares Wizard for, the rest is icing on the cake, just my thoughts.

More

A bit understated but yet more tools lurk here, including the Internet Speed Test and Fresh Start (for putting on new custom builds). The upload logs is useful when diagnosing problems and you need someone else to decipher the gibberish in the logs.

The log uploader when clicked returns a code which you can share with a trusted third party. Just be aware if you have any premium accounts, your username and password could be in the logs, so don't share the link publicly!

The Speed Test

Pretty much covers it. Upload, download and ping. 'nuff said?

Settings

There are few things here, but you can see here the added features, a very useful save favs and sources when changing builds.

Build Update

Set the frequency Ares Wizard checks your build makers updates – Ares checks what you have with whats in the builds makers wizard files – and lets you know to update. No messing about – this installs over the top of what you have!

You can now preserve your favourites and your sources when swapping builds – great if you have a lot of things saved, however, if the new build doesn’t have the addon your favs are from they won't work. Preserving your sources is awesome, if like me, you have a home library of stuff on a local NAS, but saves having to rekey your favourite repos etc.

Summary

The dev, Mark Dobson, has obviously put a huge amount of effort and thought into this. Its all his own work, all 20,000+ lines of code (he tells me). I'm really impressed with this so far, a very useful “swiss army knife” for Kodi you can find Mark on the Ares Forum be sure to stop by and say thank you.