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D.Va Strategy & Gameplay Guide “I play to win.”

Last updated on Jul 30, 2016 at 07:04 by Vlad 24 comments

Table of Contents

D.Va Portrait
  • D.Va Personal Details Real Name: Hana Song, Age: 19
  • D.Va Occupation Occupation: Pro Gamer (formerly), Mech Pilot
  • D.Va Geographical Origins Base of Operations: Busan, South Korea
  • D.Va Affiliation Affiliation: Mobile Exo-Force of the Korean Army

This guide takes an in-depth look at how to play D.Va in Overwatch. We look at the strengths and weaknesses of the hero, and we go over mechanics, recommended strategies, and things to beware of.

The guide has been written based on our extensive experience playing the game since before the Closed Beta began, and it relies on our decades-long FPS experience. That said, our aim is to keep the guide relatively brief and easy to understand, making it accessible to veterans and new players alike.

If you have any comment on the guide's content or structure, please let us know in the comments! :)

Stamp of Approval

This guide has been reviewed and approved by michr, formerly one of the best Day of Defeat players in Europe, who now plays Overwatch for OWKings. He also writes for Gosu Gamers.

1. Strengths

  • Good close range damage
  • Defense Matrix Icon Defense Matrix allows D.Va to protect herself and her allies from most of the highly dangerous ultimates in the game
  • Her ultimate (Self-Destruct Icon Self-Destruct) deals extreme AoE damage and does an excellent job of zoning the enemy team, or sometimes even of getting several kills
  • She has excellent and versatile mobility thanks to her Boosters Icon Boosters
  • Is excellent at surviving as destroying her 500-health mech just results in her 150-health human form, making her resilient overall
  • Viable on both Attack and Defense

2. Weaknesses

  • Low damage at medium range, and no damage at long range
  • Large and easy-to-hit headshot hitbox

3. Strategy

In this section, we will briefly go over the main strategies you should employ as D.Va. We will begin with an Overview, and then we will go in depth more about each ability that D.Va has.

3.1. Overview

D.Va is a tank, and a very interesting hero. By default, D.Va controls (in other words is) a 500-health mech with damaging close range weapons (Fusion Cannons Icon Fusion Cannons) that do not need to be reloaded. However, when D.Va's mech is destroyed, she jumps out of it in her 150-health human form that is equipped with a surprisingly effective pistol, and which can, after some time, call down a fresh new mech.

As D.Va, you can perform two different functions for your team. You can either harass and disrupt your enemies by flying up next to them with your low-cooldown, versatile Boosters Icon Boosters (your boosters allow you to fly up to sniper nests and kill or force enemy snipers to retreat) and then damage them with your Fusion Cannons, or you can predominantly try to protect your team with the use of your Defense Matrix Icon Defense Matrix (keep in mind that you cannot shoot while Defense Matrix is active).

Your high resilience makes you ideal for the harassment role, as the opponents will have a hard time actually killing you off (including your human form). Finally, you can always fall back on your extremely powerful Self-Destruct Icon Self-Destruct ultimate, which almost always has a strong effect, either zoning the enemy team for several seconds, breaking up their positions, or simply killing several of them.

3.2. Abilities

3.2.1. Eject and Call Mech

D.Va Eject
Eject D.Va
  • Passive

D.Va ejects out of her mech when it is destroyed.

D.Va Call Mech
Call Mech (Q) D.Va
  • Ultimate

D.Va calls down a new mech.

By default (when the game starts, when you respawn), D.Va is in control of her 500-health mech. This provides D.Va with all the abilities mentioned in the sub-sections that follow.

When D.Va's mech is destroyed or when D.Va uses Self-Destruct Icon Self-Destruct, she is Eject Icon Ejected from the mech, and you as the player are given control of her 150-health human form. Normally, the human form jumps out behind the destroyed mech, but you can actually affect the exact direction using your movement keys, which can be beneficial depending on your surroundings. The human form has a slim model (similar to that of Tracer) and moves quickly. It has no abilities except for a pistol, and an ultimate (Call Mech Icon Call Mech).

The pistol, despite appearing weak, is actually very strong. It has perfect accuracy, and no damage drop-off at range. This means that in human form, D.Va can actually dish out extreme amounts of damage if you are able to aim her pistol well (94 DPS without headshots). The quick movement speed and slim model also make the human form difficult to kill if you move around erratically. That said, enemies who are prepared for you to come out of the destroyed mech can still kill you, as your health is very low.

Call Mech is an ultimate ability that is only available when in human form. It charges up by 1% per second on its own, and any additional damage you do with your pistol simply charges it up faster. Dealing damage with Self-Destruct also counts towards charging your Call Mech. When you use Call Mech, a fresh mech is summed for you at your location (and you are given control of it). The summing of the new mech also deals 50 damage to any nearby enemies, knocking them back slightly. If D.Va uses Self-Destruct, she can instantly use Call Mech to call down a new mech.

The strategy for handling D.Va's human form is extremely straightforward.

  • When your mech is destroyed, start moving erratically to make it difficult for your enemies to hit you. Depending on the situation, you should either make a run for it (if surrounded by enemies) or fight back (if only up against a single enemy).
  • Deal as much damage as possible in human form, while staying alive, to charge up Call Mech.
  • As soon as you can, use Call Mech to summon a fresh mech.

Even though D.Va's human form deals more damage than her mech at long ranges, we advise you to always call a new mech as soon as possible, even if your human form is away from the fight and in a position to deal damage from range. The reason for this is that, as your mech, you can be much more useful to the team, and you are also not as vulnerable to being killed unexpectedly as in your human form. Finally, even though your long range damage is practically non-existent in your mech, you can always use your Boosters Icon Boosters to get to the fight.

3.2.2. Fusion Cannons

D.Va Fusion Cannons
Fusion Cannons (LMB) D.Va

Automatic short range spread weapons.

D.Va's Fusion Cannons Icon Fusion Cannons are a simple weapon. The Fusion Cannons are automatic shotguns that have unlimited ammo, and thus never need to be reloaded, meaning that D.Va can spray them in front of her continuously. The Fusion Cannons have significant damage drop-off at range, and their spray pattern has a rather wide spread. This means that the cannons are highly effective at close range, mildly effective at medium range, and practically useless at long range.

While firing her Fusion Cannons, D.Va's movement speed is reduced considerably (she is barely able to move at all), and the cannons also cannot be used while D.Va is using her Boosters Icon Boosters or Defense Matrix Icon Defense Matrix.

The way to use the Fusion Cannons is simple. Move into close range of your enemies (either using your Boosters, or by running there) and then damage them with the Fusion Cannons. Given your large health and the high damage of the cannons, most enemies will not be able to keep up with your damage. If they stay, 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.

As we said, at long range, the Fusion Cannons are practically useless, so do not bother trying to use them this way.

3.2.3. Defense Matrix

D.Va Defense Matrix
Defense Matrix (RMB) D.Va
  • Cooldown: 1 seconds

Block projectiles in an area in front of you.

Defense Matrix Icon 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 that is capable of blocking almost all incoming projectiles and shots. The shield has no damage limit. While the Defense Matrix is up, D.Va can change its orientation by moving and by turning around, allowing her to adapt to the changing situation.

Defense Matrix is based on a resource meter (visible on the user interface whenever it is not at maximum charge). While Defense Matrix is not in use, the resource will charge up, taking 10 seconds to charge up to maximum. Using Defense Matrix will deplete the charge progressively (a full charge will allow the use of Defense Matrix for 4 seconds), and the ability will remain active for as long as you hold down the keybind (provided you have enough charge to support it). Defense Matrix has a 1-second cooldown.

The most notable things that Defense Matrix does not block are melee attacks or channeled weapons (those of Mei, Winston, Symmetra, Zarya).

There are two main uses for Defense Matrix.

Firstly, you should use it to protect yourself and (especially) your teammates from dangerous enemy abilities. While the Defense Matrix can protect against such things as the shots from most heroes' weapons, blocking this damage is generally a low priority. Instead, you should use it against high damage abilities and ultimates like Pharah's Barrage Icon Barrage, McCree's Deadeye Icon Deadeye, or Reaper's Death Blossom Icon Death Blossom.

Secondly, you should use your Defense Matrix to protect yourself and enable you to get up close to targets to damage them, or to stay alive during your duels. For example, you can use your Defense Matrix while you use your Boosters Icon Boosters to get up close to a Torbjörn turret or to a Bastion in Configuration: Sentry Icon Configuration: Sentry in order to damage them with your Fusion Cannons Icon Fusion Cannons.

Overall, you should make it a point to make frequent use of Defense Matrix, and to turn it off as soon as it is not needed to allow it to charge up.

3.2.4. Boosters

D.Va Boosters
Boosters (LShift) D.Va
  • Cooldown: 5 seconds

Fly in the direction you are facing.

Boosters Icon Boosters are D.Va's movement ability, and they are extremely versatile. When D.Va activates Boosters, her mech flies forward in the direction where she is aiming (including vertically) for up to 2 seconds (the effect can be cancelled prematurely using Left Mouse Button).

While flying forward, D.Va cannot attack with her Fusion Cannons Icon Fusion Cannons, but she can use both her Defense Matrix Icon Defense Matrix and her Self-Destruct Icon Self-Destruct (more on that in the next section). Moreover, any enemies that D.Va comes in contact with while flying take 25 damage and are knocked back. It is interesting to note that D.Va can use her melee attack while flying.

Since Boosters has such a low cooldown (5 seconds), you should be using it very often. Use it to get close enough to enemies for your Fusion Cannons to be effective, use it to chase enemies who are running away from you, or simply to retreat, and you can use your Boosters to avoid damaging enemy abilities.

You should also not neglect the importance of using your Boosters to knock enemies back, which can be particularly useful for knocking heroes off the map. Using your melee attack as well, you can actually deal a reasonable amount of damage to enemies you come in contact with.

3.2.5. Self-Destruct

D.Va Self-Destruct
Self-Destruct (Q) D.Va
  • Ultimate

Eject and overload your mech, causing it to explode after a short time.

D.Va's ultimate (when in mech form), Self-Destruct Icon Self-Destruct, causes her mech to explode 3 seconds after the ability is activated, dealing a massive amount of damage to all enemies in a very large radius, but only to those players who are in actual line of sight of the mech when it explodes. D.Va and her allies take no damage from Self-Destruct. Using Self-Destruct ensures that D.Va can use Call Mech Icon Call Mech immediately upon leaving her old mech.

The maximum damage that Self-Destruct does is 1000, and this amount decreases the farther enemies are from the mech when it explodes. As for the range, we are not certain exactly what it is, but suffice to say that it is extremely high, meaning that out-running Self-Destruct is not at all recommended.

In addition to the disadvantages of the 3-second delay and the fact that players can simply get out of line of sight of the mech, Self-Destruct also comes with a very loud audio warning for the other team. The warning sound persists through the 3-second delay before the mech explodes, giving enemies a lot of opportunities to avoid it.

It is also worth pointing out that if your Self-Destruct is available and your mech is destroyed, there is a very small window during which you can activate Self-Destruct before you are Eject Icon Ejected from the mech.

Finally, one very important aspect of Self-Destruct is that you can use it while your Boosters Icon Boosters are active, and the result of this is that the Booster effect will continue during the 3-second delay of Self-Destruct, meaning that you can basically launch the mech in the direction you desire, activate Self-Destruct and then the mech will explode at the destination of the Boosters. This is a technique that is very powerful, and which we explain below.

So, now that you are armed with all of this information about how Self-Destruct works, it is time to look at the best ways of using it. There are 2 main uses: to zone enemies, and to kill enemies.

Zoning enemies with Self-Destruct is quite easy. Regardless of whether you are attacking or defending, if your team is fighting over a Point, detonating your mech in the middle of it will force the enemies to run off the point. Any of them who do not will either die to your teammates, or to the massive Self-Destruct explosion. Of course, some may survive by hiding in clever areas or by using abilities such as Mei's Cryo-Freeze Icon Cryo-Freeze, but this is a risk you have to take.

Killing enemies with Self-Destruct is more difficult, because of all the reasons listed earlier. That said, there are ways to increase your chances.

The best way to get kills with Self-Destruct is to have the enemies incapacitated, stunned, or heavily distracted by your teammates. Here, we are thinking of abilities such as Zarya's Graviton Surge Icon Graviton Surge, Reinhardt's Earthshatter Icon Earthshatter, or Mei's Blizzard Icon Blizzard.

Failing this, you should look for situations in which the enemies do not have anywhere to run to cover in time. Typically, this means using Self-Destruct in wide, open areas.

The other option is to use the very powerful combination of Boosters and Self-Destruct. What you want to do is launch your mech in the direction of where you want it to explode, trigger your Self-Destruct, and take cover. Since the mech will fly in while the 3-second delay is already running, your enemies will have much less time to take cover. Moreover, they will not know until the last moment exactly where your mech will stop, which means they will not know where to take cover exactly. A variation of this technique is to launch your mech up in the air (as well as forwards). Here, its final destination will be even more difficult for the enemy to discern, and it is usually possible to get several kills this way.

Since Self-Destruct automatically enables your Call Mech, you can even use these two abilities just to effectively fully heal your mech (by receiving a new one).

4. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 29 Jul. 2016: Updated Defense Matrix description to account for the recent change, and also updated Self-Destruct to no longer mention that the explosion can kill D.Va (since that was also changed).
  • 23 Jun. 2016: Fixed a mistake where we were referring to Mei's Cryo Freeze (instead of her Blizzard) as an effective combo with Self-Destruct.
  • 02 Jun. 2016: Added a mention that D.Va's Fusion Cannons are automatic shotguns, and change the mention of them having no ammo to them having unlimited ammo, for more clarity.
  • 24 May 2016: Updated cooldown of Defense Matrix to 10 seconds.
  • 22 May 2016: Updated the guide following michr's review.
    • Added Weakness of D.Va's large headshot hitbox.
    • Added mention of the exact damage of her human form pistol.
    • Added mention that Self-Destruct instantly enables Call Mech.
    • Added tips for using Boosters.
  • 15 May 2016: Guide added.
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