D.Va Abilities and Strategy
Table of Contents
- ×Abilities and Strategy
- +Synergies and Matchups
On this page, you will find a detailed overview of the abilities that D.Va has access to. We also explain how to best use these abilities.
The other pages of our D.Va guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.
1. D.Va TL;DR Tips
- D.Va can be used offensively or defensively, but D.Va players must make protecting their teammates their top priority. D.Va shines when she coordinates with her allies, so leaving them behind is rarely a good idea.
- Defense Matrix should rarely be used preemptively unless D.Va is jumping a dangerous enemy.
- D.Va gets the most out of Defense Matrix when she uses it to save allies when enemies are clearly trying to finish the kill.
- Only use Boosters offensively to engage an enemy who is alone, or to jump in with teammates.
- Micro Missiles used with Defense Matrix can deal damage that the enemy cannot repay (depending on who the opponent is).
- D.Va should always use Self-Destruct with a particular goal in mind. Haphazardly throwing the bomb over a wall does not count as a goal.
- When out of mech, do not be afraid to kill yourself or switch off D.Va to gain a new mech before the next team fight occurs.
2.1. Eject and Call Mech
D.Va ejects out of her mech when it is destroyed.
D.Va calls down a new mech.
By default (when the game starts, when you respawn), D.Va is in control of her 600-health mech. This provides D.Va with all the abilities mentioned in the following sub-sections.
When D.Va's mech is destroyed, or when D.Va uses Self-Destruct, she is Ejected from the mech, and the player is given control of D.Va and her shallow 150-health pool. D.Va automatically leaps backwards from her mech when she Ejects, but you can change her exit strategy with your movement controls to make her land in the direction you want to go, which can be beneficial depending on your surroundings. Pilot D.Va has a slim character model (similar to Tracer) and moves quickly. She has no abilities except for a pistol, Light Gun, and an ultimate, Call Mech. That said, enemies who are prepared for D.Va to come out of her mech can kill her before she has a chance to hit the ground.
While Light Gun is D.Va's only ability and attack while out of mech, it is surprisingly strong. It has no weapon spread, meaning it has perfect accuracy; no damage drop-off, and will travel across a map until it hits a solid object. In human form, D.Va can dish out high amounts of damage if the player can aim her pistol well (10 headshots is 210 damage). However, hitting Light Gun shots is difficult since the bullets travel slowly at more- than-close range. Therefore, D.Va will have to lead opponents who are farther away and traveling sideways. It is not recommended that D.Va engages an enemy with anything less than 15 bullets in her clip, since it takes D.Va a staggering 1.5 seconds to reload her Light Gun. With 15 bullets, hitting a few headshots and landing the rest will result in the death of a 200 health opponent. However, if D.Va is engaged upon with less bullets in her clip, her quick movement speed and slim figure can cause enemies to miss shots and abilities with minimal effort.
Call Mech is an ultimate ability available to D.Va when she is out of her mech. The ultimate charge builds 1% per 2.75 seconds, and any additional damage you deal with your pistol builds charge as well. In fact, D.Va only needs 300 ultimate points to fill her Call Mech meter. Therefore, D.Va can obtain another mech quickly since heroes gain an ultimate point per point of damage they deal. When you use Call Mech, a fresh mech is brought to D.Va at her current location. The summoning of the new mech takes two full seconds, deals 50 damage to nearby enemies when called, and knocks enemies away. It should be noted that if D.Va dies, her Call Mech charge is not saved through her death, meaning D.Va will always start at 0% Call Mech charge every time her mech is killed. However, if D.Va uses Self-Destruct, she gains her Call Mech ultimate once her old mech explodes. If her mech goes out of the play area, she will not get a new mech once it explodes.
Even though D.Va's Light Pistol deals more damage than D.Va's mech from long range, we advise you to call a new mech as soon as it is ready, even if you are away from the fight and in a position to deal damage from long range. While you can deal a healthy amount of damage from afar, dealing damage from a distance is not your primary role. With your mech, you will be more useful to your team, fulfilling the off-tank role you are meant to play. Obviously, if you can secure a kill just before utilizing Call Mech, you should do so, but as a rule of thumb, get in your mech and tank for your team.
2.2. Fusion Cannons
Automatic short range spread weapons.
D.Va's Fusion Cannons have straightforward mechanics. The Fusion Cannons are automatic shotguns that have unlimited ammo, and thus never need to be reloaded or charged, meaning D.Va can shoot her cannons continuously. However, the Fusion Cannons have significant damage drop-off at range, and their spray pattern is huge from more than 10m away. This renders the cannons highly effective at close range, mildly effective at medium range, and practically useless at long ranges.
While firing her Fusion Cannons, D.Va's movement speed is reduced considerably (she is barely able to move at all), but the cannons can be used while D.Va is using her Boosters. However, Fusion Cannons cannot be used with Defense Matrix, as D.Va's shield will override her ability to shoot her guns.
Utilization of D.Va's Fusion Cannons is simple. Move into close range of your enemies (either using your Boosters, or by running there) and then hold down primary fire. Given your large health and the high damage of the cannons close range, most enemies will not be able to keep up with your damage 1 on 1. If they stick around to fight, you should be able to kill them, and if they attempt to escape, you can chase them with your Boosters. Likewise, if you feel like you are going to lose the fight (there are too many enemies, for example), you can use your Boosters to escape.
2.3. Defense Matrix
- Cooldown: 1 seconds
Block projectiles in an area in front of you.
Defense Matrix (classified in-game as D.Va's alternate fire, although it does not actually shoot any projectiles) creates a shield in front of D.Va capable of blocking almost all incoming projectiles and shots 15m out from D.Va's position; the shield has no damage limit. While the Defense Matrix is up, D.Va can change its orientation by moving and turning around, allowing her to adapt to the situation at hand.
Defense Matrix is based on a resource meter (visible on the user interface whenever not at maximum charge). If fully charged, Defense Matrix shields for a full 2 seconds. While Defense Matrix is not in use, the resource meter will charge up, taking 8 seconds achieve maximum charge if totally depleted. The ability will remain active for as long as you hold down the keybind (provided you have enough charge to hold it). Defense Matrix has a 1-second cooldown once D.Va stops using the shield.
Defense Matrix does not block noteworthy attacks such as melee strikes (including Doomfist's Rocket Punch and Genji's Dragonblade) and beam weapons (like the primary fires of Mei, Winston, Symmetra, and Zarya).
There are two main uses for Defense Matrix.
First, you should use it to protect yourself and (especially) your teammates from dangerous enemy abilities. While Defense Matrix can protect against shots from most heroes' weapons, blocking this damage is generally a low priority (unless blocking close-range shotgun damage from Roadhog or Reaper). Instead, you should save it for high damage abilities and ultimates like Pharah's Barrage, McCree's Deadeye, and Reaper's Death Blossom.
Second, you should use Defense Matrix to protect yourself while in a duel. Defense Matrix can be used with Boosters to jump targets who are alone, and can be used throughout a duel to safeguard against powerful abilities like McCree's Flashbang or Soldier: 76 Helix Rockets. Additionally, D.Va can use her Micro Missiles while engaging Defense Matrix to deal damage to an opponent while protecting herself. For example, you can use your Defense Matrix while utilizing Boosters to get up close to a Torbjörn turret or to a Bastion in Configuration: Sentry in order to damage and distract them with your Fusion Cannons and Micro Missiles.
- Cooldown: 5 seconds
Fly in the direction you are facing.
Boosters is D.Va's movement ability, and is extremely versatile due to its low cooldown and long duration. When D.Va activates Boosters, her mech flies forward in the direction she is facing (including vertically) for up to 2 seconds. (The effect can be canceled prematurely by using the ability once more.)
While flying forward, D.Va can use all of her abilities (but their restrictions still apply, which means Fusion Cannons and Defense Matrix cannot be used together), including Self-Destruct (more on that in the next section). In fact, D.Va can simultaneously use Defense Matrix, Micro Missiles, and Boosters for maximum protection, damage, and mobility. Moreover, any enemies D.Va strikes when using Boosters will receive 25 damage and are knocked back. It is interesting to note D.Va can use her melee attack while flying, but it will automatically end her Booster ability.
Since Boosters have such a low cooldown (5 seconds), you should be using it frequently. Use it to get close enough to enemies to deal effective Fusion Cannons damage mixed with Micro Missiles, or use it to chase enemies who are running away from you because they are low, or simply use it to retreat from a fight or run away from enemy abilities.
You should not neglect the knock back power of Boosters, as D.Va can use the ability to push enemies off of maps like Illios: Well, Lijiang Tower: Night Market, and Garden.
2.5. Micro Missiles
- Cooldown: 8 seconds
Launch a volley of explosive rockets.
Micro Missiles is D.Va's other primary attack aside from Fusion Cannons. When used, D.Va fires 18 missiles over 1.5 seconds, nine missiles from her left side and nine missiles from her right side. If each missile connects with its target, the ability deals 162 damage. However, if D.Va misses her target, she can still score splash damage that deals between 2 and 6 damage per missile depending on how close they explode to their target.
The missiles travel a straight path from D.Va's mech to where she is currently facing when the missile is fired. Similar to Defense Matrix, if D.Va changes direction while the ability is in use, the ability will "move" with D.Va, allowing her to shoot every missile in a different direction if D.Va moves quickly. This allows D.Va to track enemy movements and to fire her missiles where they currently stand. The missiles cover ground quickly, but D.Va might have to lead targets to score direct hits depending on her distance from the target and the target's speed.
The cooldown for Micro Missiles is eight seconds long, which means the missiles should be used in smart situations. It is rarely advantageous to use Micro Missiles to attack enemy shields since D.Va should be using her Boosters to travel past shields when attacking. Therefore, Micro Missiles should be utilized when engaging an enemy in a duel, or to secure a kill on an enemy who is fleeing. Additionally, Micro Missiles can be used in conjunction with Defense Matrix to protect an ally while simultaneously attacking their aggressor.
Eject and overload your mech, causing it to explode after a short time.
D.Va's ultimate (when in mech form) is named Self-Destruct. When used, Self-Destruct ejects D.Va from her mech, and after three seconds, her mech explodes, dealing massive area of effect damage to all enemies caught in its explosion radius. It is critical to note enemies must be in line of sight of the mech when it explodes in order to receive damage. Therefore, enemies who are behind an obstacle (like a payload) will not die if the mech cannot "see" the enemy when it explodes. While enemies must run from the explosion, D.Va and her allies take no damage from Self-Destruct. If D.Va uses Self-Destruct, her Call Mech meter will be filled once her Self-Destruct mech explodes. This allows D.Va to jump into another mech right after old one explodes. However, if her mech travels off the map, it will not explode, which does not grant her Call Mech charge.
The maximum damage Self-Destruct can inflict is 1000, but this decreases the farther enemies are from the mech when it explodes. The range is far-reaching, so outrunning its blast is much harder than finding an object to hide behind.
In addition to the slow 3-second bomb timer and the fact players can simply retreat from its line of sight, Self-Destruct's use is announced to the enemy team; and the warning sounds persist throughout the 3-second delay before the mech explodes. In addition to these warnings, similar to Tracer's Pulse Bomb, a warning symbol is shown on an enemy's screen if he is near the mech's impending explosion. All of these warnings give the enemy team plenty of opportunities to avoid the ultimate.
It is worth pointing out that if your Self-Destruct is available and your mech is destroyed, there is a minuscule window during which you can activate Self-Destruct before you are Ejected from the mech. Waiting till the last second to activate Self-Destruct can trick the enemy into thinking you do not have the ultimate when you actually do. Therefore, waiting to enable Self-Destruct can result in devastating consequences for the enemy team.
Finally, the critical aspect of Self-Destruct is that D.Va can use it while her Boosters are active, resulting in D.Va sending her bomb through the air. The Boosters effect will continue throughout the 3-second delay of Self-Destruct, meaning that you can launch the mech in any direction you desire and the mech will explode 3 seconds later. The mech will travel as far as the Boosters take it, which means D.Va can use her ultimate at the beginning of the Boosters to send it really far away, or she can use her ultimate at the end of her boosters to drop it on unsuspecting enemies below. As the variables and launches are seemingly infinite, D.Va's Boosters and Self-Destruct combo has unlimited applications.
About our Author
Mournflakes is a flex Grandmaster Overwatch player who boasts a career high SR rating of 4433. His favorite heroes are Roadhog, Soldier: 76, and Ana. He has played Overwatch since its initial release, and has put over 700 hours into competitive play. When not writing guides, you can catch Mournflakes streaming on his Twitch channel.
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