External Assistant for Run8

14th update now available!

A free little systray program designed for use with Run8.
Download now

External Assistant for Run8 (EA4R8)

External Assistant is now 1 year old.

If this is your first visit and you're looking for information on External Assistant for Run8, scroll down a bit - most of the features have screenshots.
There's a download link under every feature. (All download links point to the same installer, it's all in one program.)

If you're already familiar with External Assistant, and just want the latest version, you can grab the download from this page as well.

As I reflect back on the past year, I can't help but feel grateful to everyone who's embraced EA4R8.
Thanks to everyone who's helped spread the word, contributed ideas and thanks of course to the people behind Run8 Studios!

Thanks again for checking out External Assistant for Run8!
- Jack

Download now

Export File Viewers
New in release 14
Use Run8 To Export any of these:

  • Industry Config
  • Car Report
  • Switch List
And you can View them in a nice Viewer you can drag to another monitor.
EA4R8 can even open these automatically when it detects you've exported them.

Input Profile Switcher & PDF maker
New in release 13
Easily switch between Laptop and 101key keyboards!

EA4R8 includes pre-defined profiles for laptop keyboards for use with Run8.
Use the profile switcher to switch between up to 9 custom Keyboard/Raildriver configs.
EA4R8 can also generate a PDF diagram of your keyboard layout for easy reference.

Run8 Brake Quick Reference card
A simple Quick Reference card with a small amount of info on Run8's brakes you may find handy while using Run8.
(Found under the Documentation Menu)

Save Train Inspector
Now you can bring up a list of all the cars on your train and drag it to a second monitor!
The Save Train Inspector works by loading the most current "Auto Save Train.xml" file.
  (For best results, set your Auto Save Train interval to 2 minutes in run8.)
You can see all the destination tags in a nice list, which is color coded to show cars that aren't blocked together.
There's also a little chart of the weight distribution of your train.
Release 4 of EA4R8 adds:
  Double click a DLC item to open the relevant page at the Depot's Rolling Stock Database.
  Select multiple rows to select/deselect
Release 6 of EA4R8 adds:
  Additional info on train weight, length, copy to clipboard and print functionality.

Jump To Tile
Jump to any tile location within Run8!

Useful for server users who see a message on screen about a broken train at Tile X,Z.
This creates an "Extra Board" save file named "_JumpToTile: X,Z" which you can easily load with the F1 key in Run8.
(For those unfamiliar, the "ExtraBoard" files save/load a camera location, and can be loaded at any time, including server sessions!)

Chat History
If you use Run8 online, and occasionally need to step away, and want to confirm you didn't miss anything, this feature is for you.
(Note this works by looking at your run8.log file - it only shows messages received while you're connected to a Run8 server.)
Release 5 of EA4R8 added:
  Additional Chat filters such as "Today only"
  Select a different Font
Release 8 of EA4R8 improvements:
  Performance improvements! & bug fixes!
  Colors are customizable, see program install directory for instructions.

Quick Access to Depot Maps, courtesy of the DepotServer.com
The Depot is known for their legendary Route Maps, now you can pull them up quickly from the systray.

Quick Access to Run8 Documentation (user guides folder)
The Run8 Documentation folder has a wealth of PDF files, but the folder can be hard to hunt down in the middle of a session.
Now they are just a click away.

Nicely Display your Vernometer stats at the click of a mouse
Run8 V3 stores key runtime stats in a file named Vernometer.xml
You can view the stats with this program at any time.

XML Config file Validator
Auto Check Run8's config files for simple XML errors.
New in release 11!
Run8 V3 has many user editable config files such as the TrainSymbolRoutings.xml or the UnitNumberDatabase.xml files.
XML files are delicate and all it takes is a misplaced character to break the file.
This tool will check the files for simple XML errors and let you know if it finds any.

Automatic Config file Backup
Creates daily zip files of your Run8 Config files.
New Routes Note:
This tool should automatically pick up new routes and regions.
+ Backs up Industry, Hump, AI spawning, and all your save files.
+ Great for server operators! Backup History lasts much longer than Run8's autosave rotation.
+ Great for advanced users who edit their industry/AI spawn config.
+ Great for insuring your config files are backed up before applying an update.
+ Keeps daily backups for 2 months.
+ Keeps monthly backups forever.
+ Uses windows task scheduler to run the backup job each day, and will auto run at startup if a day is missed.
- Does not backup the whole run8 folder.
- Does not backup Run8 Installers
- Not a substitute for a system backup.

Installation and Usage Tips

Some users have experienced issues installing to the c:\program files\ directory
The installer for build 3 and later have been reconfigured to default the install to c:\EA4R8.
If you experience any trouble, please uninstall (via Windows "add/remove programs" functionality), then re-install the latest version.

Accessing the '8' icon in the windows system tray:
The program runs as a "Systray" icon - you can drag it directly to the tray for easy access.
If you're running Run8 full screen and your systray is hidden, just tap the "windows" key on your keyboard once to make it visible.

Auto Start:
You can have EA4R8 auto start every time Run8 starts! To do this, you'll need to launch Run8 one time as administrator so it can setup a Run8 category in windows Event logs.
Once this is done, go into EA4R8->Settings and check "Start/Exit External Assistant for Run8 automatically when Run8 starts/exits"

A word about Internet Safety...

Run8guides.com is the official home of External Assistant for Run8.

Do not use copies not downloaded directly from Run8guides.com.

The setup program has the following hashes:

build 14: (April 4th 2024)
SHA256: 35e85375de538eb4188a7aeb4f218425444ff2315af7da5c00f714679ff1a0f3
MD5: f946f95efbe377ed7f545f43d30e58fc

build 13: (January 7th 2024)
SHA256: b37369cbd6c87f71f7551456cf6a5e95f1bd06cbfd04f5af243cf59daa737944
MD5: 1dd071c93211ebb531cf78c9042bdab1

These can be verified by uploading the installer to virustotal.com

This program does not need to be run as an administrator.

If you have any questions, you can find me on the Depot forums as "Jack8v3".
I am also on several run8 related discords as "basementjack".

This program is not affiliated with the Depot or with Run8 Studios.
Depot maps linked with permission.