There are a lot of different mechanics and tricks you will need to learn if you want to succeed in DiRT 4, but one of the most essential is using the handbrake. Found in virtually any video game with drivable vehicles in it, the handbrake allows for tighter and sometimes more flashy turns. However, in DiRT 4 there is more nuance and technique needed to really make the most out of your handbrake usage. There are multiple different types of braking and turning styles that you’ll need to know if you want to play against more difficult A.I. or human players.
To start, the handbrake is mapped to the Circle button on PlayStation 4 or the B button on Xbox One. Your normal brake is controlled with the left trigger regardless of which console you play one, but these can be changed in the options menu if needed. When using a handbrake, try not to turn the control stick to harshly as this will typically cause your car to spin out. If you want to maintain your momentum make sure to not just hold the handbrake through the entire turn. This will preemptively kill any real speed you have and cause your car to drastically slow down or even stop completely.
One of the best ways to make a tight turn while using the handbrake is to only hold down the button for half the turn. Make sure to keep your finger down on the gas trigger so you can carry your speed through the corner and not risk getting past. Remember not every turn requires the use of the handbrake, as many of the corners in DiRT 4 are rather wide and can be easily conquered by pulsing the regular brake.
Mastering this key mechanic will be exceptionally important as you progress through harder tracks across all of the game modes. Make sure to practice using your handbrake at the DiRT Academy if you’re having trouble maintaining your speed.