This review has been produced and published by @lockhart.
Racing games come in many flavours, and I have enjoyed playing them ever since popping in my Gran Turismo disc into my PS1 many years ago. Racing simulators, arcade racers, kart racing and so much more have created a circuit of variety that provides differing styles of fun and accuracy. Picking up a controller to play has been the norm for me but over the years I’ve invested in numerous gaming peripherals to enhance my gameplay experience. Arcade sticks, rhythm game controllers and now racing wheels have all transformed gameplay immersion and enjoyment. After visiting the arcade a few times this year to play some Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune/Initial D Arcade Stage, I was reminded how awesome racing wheels can be. As a casual arcade racer, I’m sharing my thoughts on the PXN-V9 multi-system racing wheel.
PXN-V9 Racing Wheel Unboxed
Wheel The PXN-V9 racing wheel supports multiple gaming consoles and PC. Right out of the box we have a full-size racing wheel built sporting a metal finish. The rest of the body is made from plastic, lightweight, and well-constructed. The base of the wheel has replaceable suction pads that allow temporary fixing to a stable surface. Two plastic clamps are provided, they slot into the base of the wheel, allowing a stable fixing.
The Gear shifter that comes with the V9 wheel is surprisingly well made and comes with a clamp mount. Constructed from plastic, the shifter supports 6 gears and there is a high/low gear for gears 7-12. A parking switch is also mounted on the top.
The PXN V9 features racing clutch, brake and accelerator pedals made from metal and features a plastic base. The base folds out an additional layer that provides extra grip if required.
USB Cable Extender
Both pedals and shifter connect to the wheel with their respective data cables. An additional USB extender cable is provided to allow easy plugging in of console controllers that are used to authenticate/proxy input from the wheel.
PXN provide a setup guide booklet with multiple languages included. There is also a link to download their app, more about this later. Registration/warranty information is on a card too.
After doing some cable management and clamping the wheel in place, I was happy that I still had some room on my desk. I have a relatively cramped desk right now and the easy clamps make setup and removal quick and easy.
PXN’s V9 model is a 900/270-degree racing wheel. A switch on the rear of the wheel allows switching between the two modes. My current racing game preferences don’t require the 900-degree mode, so I exclusively play using the 270-degree mode.
Connection to PC is via USB-A and the wheel supports both DirectInput and XInput. To summarise, DInput is legacy and XInput is the current API standard. If one doesn’t work for you in a game, try the other mode. Toggling between both is done using the ‘Mode’ button for 3 seconds, a brief disconnection and reconnection will indicate the change and can be confirmed in device properties.
PC Setup and Gaming
I appreciate plug and play experiences and the racing wheel worked right out of the box without having to mess with drivers. I decided to give Forza Horizon 5 a spin first and this is where I had to spend a little time configuring things. XInput had steering issues, I may revisit it at some point later but switching to DInput worked with some remapping. Racing through the world of Forza on the PXN V9 wheel is a different experience compared to controller and takes some calibration to get just right, but it’s worth the effort once tuned. Shifting through gears worked in addition to rumble, albeit some personal adjustment to rumble strength may be needed depending on preference.
Control and Feel
It’s worth noting here that PXN’s racing wheel does not feature force feedback. As someone who is into arcade style racing, this does not matter much to me. The wheel grips on either side of the wheel feels great and doesn’t introduce discomfort over extended play sessions. On the front of the wheel, we have various controls that are all mapped for various systems. The D-Pad is mostly used for navigation within most games and works just fine. The rear of the wheel has various connection ports, audio/communication passthrough and paddles on either side.
The pedals remained stable even on my wooden flooring and were comfortable to use. I did notice that there is little compression/resistance change on these pedals in use, making them feel a little linear but they work perfectly fine for arcade style racing if you’re flooring it most of the time. After playing for a few hours on Forza, I felt minimal fatigue and I felt the enhancement in gameplay when using the wheel, pedals, and gear shifter. A great experience overall.
Configuration and Mobile App
I moved on to play some Need for Speed: Heat and wanted to fast track my configuration process. Using the PXN V9 Racing Wheel to its full potential requires a mobile app. While there are multiple shortcuts to use for button programming and sensitivity adjustments on the wheel itself, life is much easier when using the “v9 Tools” app from PXN.
When the wheel is powered on, it’s easy to connect to the wheel via the app/Bluetooth and create multiple pre-sets for games. The GUI provides on the fly angle, sensitivity and vibration tuning. There are a few existing configurations to try but I had to change a few things in the ones I tested to make things work correctly. There is also a testing page where you can see live input from the wheel to diagnose any issues.
I’m not normally fond of using apps to configure my hardware but in this instance, it is optional and also a massive boost to quality of life. This level of configuration is especially important when considering the racing wheels works on so many consoles and games.
After having some time with my PC, I wanted to go back and play some titles on my Switch. The charm of Mario Kart GP DX in the arcade is something I had been wanting to replicate at home. I first tried the wheel in docked mode.
After enabling wired Pro Controller communication, buttons were functional. I did notice however, that some of the pedals and buttons needed to be remapped. I attempted to do this through the Switch’s settings but saving remapping’s failed. Fortunately, the app allows remapping and I was able to save multiple configs for my games.
I have not played Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch for a while but it was great to revisit the game with fresh controls. After adjusting to using a wheel and pedals for fast-paced turns, drifting and shell hurling, I found myself greatly satisfied with the Mario Kart Arcade experience at home. I also played through some Burnout Paradise and Crash Team Racing without issue.
The world of sim racing is deep and the PXN V9 is referred to as the ideal entry level wheel for those who want to get a glimpse of racing at home. For me however, the PXN V9 Wheel stands out as an outstanding value accessory for console racing games and general arcade racers.
Aside from working with multiple systems, the mobile app is the perfect companion to save/load configurations on demand. This is something I highly value when playing through various titles on my consoles and PC. I would love it if there was a desktop version of V9 Tools. Perhaps in the future PXN will allow users to upload and categorise their configurations to share. The existing configurations within the app are limited and having the ability to search and download from a collection of users around the world would be a great feature.
Overall, the PXN plays wonderfully and is a highly attractive entry to racing games at home. At a current price of $199.99 from PXN’s Official Store , It’s the perfect time to pick up a racing wheel up to enjoy during the festive season of Christmas and the New Year.