PXN-V12 Lite Review: Surprising Beginner Direct Drive Bundle


With Direct Drive wheelbases being affordable even at the entry level now, Michel takes a look at a particularly interesting bundle in his PXN-V12 Lite Review.

It was not long ago that Direct Drive was unimaginably expensive for most sim racers. The last few years have changed that, though. Fanatec started the foray into affordable DD bases with the CSL DD in 2021, and since then, numerous manufacturers have launched their own hardware options.

PXN is one of them. The Chinese manufacturer may not be that well known in the western hemisphere, but they are aiming to change that. Presences at the Gamescom and SimRacing Expo in 2023 showed their range of hardware, which ranges from entry-level sets to full rigs, as well as a 16 Nm DD base called V15.

PXN-V12-Lite-Review-Bundle-Components-1024x576.png


For the entry level, PXN offers the V12 Lite bundle that comes with the base, the PD-HM pedals, and the W DS Racing Wheel. The bundle should be of particular interest to sim racers due to its price of about €550/$550 – and its compatibility.

PXN-V12 Lite Review: Compatibility​

Indeed, the base is not only compatible with PC and Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, but also with PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The latter is achieved via a dongle that plugs into the back of the wheelbase.

This makes the PXN-V12 Lite bundle a terrific option for console sim racers or those that switch platforms frequently. Meanwhile, the PXN Wheel app available for iOS and Android lets users change the settings of the base. That means you do not need to have a PC handy to plug it into to adjust it.

PXN-V12-Lite-Review-Wheel-1024x576.png


Features​

The wheel itself looks solid and is 300mm in diameter. Quality is good for the price, although the red stitching around the synthetic leather could have been done a bit cleaner in some places. Meanwhile, the wheel has both shifter paddles and dual clutch paddles on board by default – something not many in that price category offer.

Other features include an aluminum quick release similar to that of MOZA Racing or Simagic, an RGB shift light stripe and two rotary switches. The buttons, however, feel slightly wobbly and do not offer much resistance – whch does not prevent them from performing as intended.

PXN-V12-Lite-Review-Wheelbase-1024x576.png


PXN-V12 Lite Review: Wheelbase​

As mentioned, the PXN-12 Lite wheelbase puts out a maximum of 6Nm of torque. It weighs just under 5 kilograms (10,8 pounds) and comes with four mounting holes at the bottom. A bracket kit lets you mount it to your desk.

As for the FFB performance, the PXN-V12 Lite performs well. Michel tested the base in Assetto Corsa, Assetto Corsa Competizione, iRacing, DiRT Rally 2.0, EA Sports WRC and Gran Turismo 7 on PS5. Check out the video for his impressions!

PXN-V12-Lite-Review-Pedals-1024x576.png


Pedals​

How about the PD-HM pedals, though? The bundle comes with three of them, but you do not have to use all of them. You can adjust their position on the included mounting plate, and the angle and height can also be changed.

However, as has to be expected at the price point, the PD-HM set is relatively basic. The brake pedal can be adjusted with different springs and elastomers, which are not included, though. Instead of a load cell, the pedals use magnetic HALL effect sensors.

PXN-V12-Lite-Review-Pedal-Plate-1024x576.png


PXN-V12 Lite Review: Software​

Unfortunately, the PXN software does not share the solid impression of the hardware. Michel’s PXN-V12 Lite review mentions unsigned Windows drivers, instructions that are lacking a bit, a bug when setting up the pedals and missing translations do not help the user experience. Luckily, this has nothing to do with the build quality of the bundle. Software improvements can usually be achieved much more quickly.

Verdict​

The quality of the hardware is solid, as Michel’s PXN-V12 Lite review shows. For the price, the bundle is definitely an option for beginners to consider. This is especially true if you want to get into Direct Drive without breaking the bank. The expanded compatibility is another plus.

Similarly, the adjustability of the pedals is helpful so sim racers can adapt the set to their liking. Tuning options for the brake pedal are not included, but can be purchased separately. Meanwhile, the PXN Wheel app allows customization of wheelbase and pedal settings from your smartphone.

PXN-V12-Lite-Review-Quick-Release-1024x576.png


The V12 Lite’s FFB output is solid for a 6Nm base, and can be very smooth, depending on the title. However, there are some issues with the set, too. The user experience could use an upgrade when it comes to the software. Translations and signatures for Windows drivers are at the top of the list there. Additonally, warranty claims could potentially be difficult with hardware imported from China.

What are your impressions of the bundle after our PXN-V12 Lite Review? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

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Comments

Good point. And what was the standard wheel back then? the Logitech G series, virtually ubiquitous. But where is that today? Similar tech, established production, there should be an equivalent of those Logitechs today for $150-$200 new ....but there is nothing decent in that price range. People wanting to sell their old Logitechs are asking $250+ for them (saw one listed for $275 that "needs work").

That is my complaint. Not that these new wheels start at $500 but that there is nothing less expensive.
Cammus C5
 
Joysticks are a niche market also, but today's $30 joystick is a vast improvement over a $250 joystick of twenty years ago.

I believe they are going to price themselves out of the market, in addition to fomenting an elitist fan base.
Not a niche anymore, prices increased by at least 50% when a certain Microsoft Scam Simulator, uuups, Flight Simulator came out. 40 000 copies sold, new increasing interest for flight sims,, the prices haven't decreased to their former level. The easier example is the classic Thrustmaster Flight X joystick, sold currently 46€ instrad of its former 30€ or 35€ price. The hots version is sold 75, I had paid mine years ago between 50 and 60.

I even think we cannot consider racing sim a niche market when AC sold almost 30 millions copies.. and what about the Gran Turismo series? Some have bought the console and the VR set just for this game. It's a market bigger than many countries., it is absolutely huge. To understand the figures, the most successful Call of Duty game, Black Ops, has sold 30 million copies on all plateforms. For sure, the comparison is biased, as COD games are never heavily discounted and never included in cheap games bundles, and if it was the case, the figures would probably double, but still, sim in general is not a niche market when some titles, system demanding, are able to make figures comparable to big franchises with heavy communication campaigns and solid fanbases.
 
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Sims do sell in great numbers, because there are more people buying games now than twenty years ago. But they are still a minute portion of the market; many of the games on these lists I've never heard of, and most of my favorite games did not make the lists.


 
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Premium
AC sold almost 30 millions copies
I'm curious about where you got that figure from, I thought it was about 5 million.
As far as I can make out Mario Kart is the biggest racing game seller and Euro Truck is by far the biggest driving game.
 
I'm curious about where you got that figure from, I thought it was about 5 million.
As far as I can make out Mario Kart is the biggest racing game seller and Euro Truck is by far the biggest driving game.
It's a well known piece of news that has been already published on RD. You can still find articles. For sure p1rt of a communication campaign from AC's publisher.

EDIT : even a 5 millions market is not a niche, we are still dealing with Call of Duty sales figures. And at the end, this article is the proof showing the result this is not a niche market : multiple new players offering RELATIVELY low cost products for sim racing.

The 40 millions copies of MSFS have been offiicially communicated by Asobo and Microsoft during the press conference about MSFS 2024 (where it has been also announced that MSFS would be purely abandonned although the initial promise was a 10 year support... I'm glad I have listened to my initial doubts about this game).
 
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I'm curious about where you got that figure from, I thought it was about 5 million.
As far as I can make out Mario Kart is the biggest racing game seller and Euro Truck is by far the biggest driving game.
Indeed, that's stated in the link I posted, 50 millions copies for mario kart 8. And do not forget that these console games are played on emulators too, which now are able to use wheel and pedals sets.
 
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Staff
Premium
Indeed, that's stated in the link I posted, 50 millions copies for mario kart 8. And do not forget that these console games are played on emulators too, which now are able to use wheel and pedals sets.
My mistake, I was thinking of pc sales, I forgot it was released on console.
However I still think in comparison that which we define as sims are relatively niche, especially if you treat AC as an outlier.
Anyway maybe we should try to get back on topic.
Along with the Campus C5 makes the PXN-V12 Lite a reasonable entry level wheel at today's price points.
 

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