Updated 23rd January 2018: Our in-depth D.Va guide contains everything you need to start playing this Hero like a pro, with plenty of ability and strategy tips.
If you prefer your tanking to come with a little bit of a twist, then we think D.Va should prove to be the perfect Hero for you. While it’s true that she’s at her most powerful when she’s leading the pack – encased within an extremely robust mechanical suit – she can also assume a more aggressive role once her vehicle’s been smashed to pieces, darting around and taking pot-shots against the enemy team. In this way, she can continue being a useful – albeit very fragile – fighting force while she waits for her next protective casing to come rolling off the production line.
We’ve got tips for playing as this foot-soldier too, but let’s focus the early part of our D.Va guide here on her signature mech mode, as it’s the part of her design that really defines her. Not only is this mech-suit capable of projecting an arcane forcefield in front of D.Va and her allies – one which rather handily absorbs all incoming projectiles – it also comes with a deadly energy weapon which increases in power the closer D.Va gets to her target. Like her tanking brother-in-arms Winston, this suit also gives her an exceptional mobility advantage in battle, thanks to a pair of powerful jet boosters that are on a rather helpfully short cooldown.
This hybrid aspect of D.Va is we think what makes her one of the most fun – and not to mention effective – tanks in Overwatch. Do you need to start harassing the backline enemy Support Heroes hard? Simply use your boosters to get into close range and start dishing out the pain, then race off towards your next victim-in-waiting. What if you need to shield your teammates from weapon-fire and devastating Ultimate abilities? No problem. Simple fire up your Defense Matrix and nullify the threat altogether. Should you find your trigger-finger getting a little itchy, you can always detonate your mech to devastating effect, and then start blasting away in your alternative, human form.
All things considered, the ins and outs of playing D.Va can make her a tricky Hero for the new player, and so we’ve put together a guide that we think will get you up to speed with her nice and quickly. First of all we’ve compiled a complete breakdown of all her core abilities, along with a few handy tips to help you make the most of them. We’ll also be adding plenty of information on her preferred targets and her most dangerous counters – along with a few map-specific pointers that should help you make a big difference in battle, wherever the fight’s going down.
Editor’s note – Update #4: Now that Season 8’s underway we’ve taken the time to completely update this guide with all the latest information and checked over all our tips too. We’ll continue contributing to this page as time goes by, so stay tuned for the latest info!
A new event has just hit Overwatch! Check out our essential Retribution guide for all the tips, tricks and strategy advice you need to master this new PVE mode.
D.Va’s abilities and strategy tips
Getting under the hood of D.Va’s mech-based tanking can feel a little confusing at first, and there are a few important things to understand about her weapon range effectiveness and mobility. Here’s a closer look at how each of her abilities work, with tips for each one a little further down the page.
Fusion Cannons [LMB] – D.Va’s weapons work a little differently to others in the game, and increase in strength the closer D.Va is to her target. Firing off this weapon will also slow her movement speed down as well, so there’s a balancing act to be had between effective fire and getting into position.
Light Gun [LMB] – Whenever D.Va is outside of her Mech, she’ll be equipped with this new weapon. It’s actually surprisingly effective at all ranges – and certainly more powerful than her mech weaponry – but she has a desperately light health pool when she’s unprotected in this way.
Boosters [LSHIFT] – This amazing mobility skill allows D.Va to charge in any direction for a couple of seconds. Not only is this great for getting back into the fight faster – or for getting up-close to a new priority target – any enemies she comes into contact with will be knocked back and penalised with a little light damage too. Getting on top of this ability is a core component of mastering D.Va – check our tips section further down the page for more info on using this skill.
Defense Matrix [RMB] – D.Va’s rather unique tanking ability is her Defense Matrix. When activated, this skill is represented on your screen by a frame which extends in front of D.Va and soaks up all projectile damage that lands within its scope. Through this ability, D.Va is able to help her team stay alive long enough to pick off the targets that are attempting to take you all down.
Micro Missiles [E] – D.Va unleashes a barrage of small missiles in a straight line. They’re perfect for whittling down low health targets and can be combined with her other abilities for added punch.
Self-Destruct [Q] – When D.Va activates Self-Destruct, she’ll fly backwards by default from her suit, which then explodes with massive area-of-effect damage. Any enemy Hero that doesn’t get out of the line-of-sight of this explosion will almost certainly be dead in a flash. Note that this damage will not be inflicted against D.Va’s teammates.
Call Mech [Q] – If D.Va’s suit is destroyed she’ll begin generating her Call Mech Ultimate passively, and also gain additional charge through blaster fire. Note that when she does call in her new mech a nice dollop of damage will be dealt out to anyone standing in her immediate vicinity.
Eject! [PASSIVE] – This is simply the mechanism through which D.Va transforms from mech to human form. This can’t be activated – we just mention it here for the sake of thoroughness!
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|Ability||Ammo||Fire Rate||Cast Time||Duration||Cooldown / Reload||Damage||Range|
|Pilot: Light Gun||20||6.66 RPS||–||–||–||14||–|
|Pilot: Call Mech||–||–||2s||–||–||50||–|
|Mech: Fusion Cannons||–||6.67 RPS||–||–||0||0.6 – 2||–|
|Mech: Micro Missiles||11 RPS||–||–||1.6s||8s||9.2 per rocket (Max 162), 6-2 splash damage||1.5m|
|Mech: Defense Matrix||–||–||–||2s||8s||–||15m|
D.Va tips and tricks
Need a helping hand getting started with D.Va? Here’s a selection of tips that’ll ensure you’re bagging those gold medals.
When you start playing D.Va, it’s important to see your role as a “Gap Closer”, and not a full blown tank. You simply don’t have the kit to hold the front line for your team like a Reinhardt. Instead, you’re built for opportunism. Use your Defense Matrix to protect allies or soak up an enemy Ultimate. Look to engage on enemies who’ve put themselves out of position or harass healers in the backline.
You’re exceptionally strong at picking off damage dealing enemies in a teamfight. For example, you can chase down a Soldier:76 or Mercy in the heat of battle and completely nullify the damage they’d otherwise be doing to your team.
Try and avoid using your mobility recklessly though, such as going for bold solo flanks or simply charging into a fight. Instead, use it to chase down vulnerable enemies or reposition yourself in a skirmish.
Finally, keep an eye on your cooldowns – especially on your Defense Matrix. You don’t want to use it all up in one go. Rather, tap it to absorb snippets of damage or key enemy Ultimates.
- A particularly classy move which requires no small amount of practice to pull off correctly involves applying your Booster ability while self-destructing. This will send your mechanical suit racing towards a pack of enemies and then – hopefully – detonating all up in their faces.
- If you see a vulnerable enemy on a sliver of health, don’t be afraid to fire up your Boosters and slam into them to inflict enough damage to take them out.
- Boosters isn’t just a great ability for navigating your way to hard-to-reach places, it can also be used to knock enemies back – perhaps even over an abyss! This skill is great for getting into position to start letting rip with your Fusion Cannons at a more effective range.
- Consider using D.Va’s Ultimate ability to prevent the final push for an objective. Once the suit is in place at ground zero, no-one in their right mind will want to try taking the point.
- D.Va’s Self-Destruct is a brilliant way of clearing an area around an objective. Pop it on a control point, watch everyone scatter and secure a few extra percentage ticks!
- Note that D.Va’s Defense Matrix will only block projectile attacks. Any damage that’s channeled or melee-inflicted will pass through and cause her – and her team – to have a very bad day indeed. A little experience in the thick of battle goes a long way towards managing the use of this ability.
- D.Va’s Defense Matrix should be one the abilities that’s constantly on your mind. You should always look for opportunities to absorb damage.
- Always think of your allies when using Defense Matrix. It’s great for protecting your healers and damage dealers in the thick of battle.
- If you’re caught out of your Mech, your best bet is to hold down [LMB] and aim for an enemy tank. This way, you’re more likely to hit them and gain enough charge to call in another Mech.
- D.Va’s Micro Missiles aren’t effective at long range, so don’t bother spamming it an enemies from a distance. Instead, think of them as a tool which couples nicely with your Fusion Cannons. Use them when charging down a target for a decent helping of burst damage.
- D.Va’s a great choice if you need an aggressive, mobile tank that’s able to harass enemies but also peel away and protect key allies.
- It’s easy to keep spamming your Fusion Cannons on large targets as it’s satisfying to land these shots. However, it’s better if you dish out damage on enemy healers or vulnerable targets as they don’t really deal a whole lot of pain. As long as you’re whittling them down, you’re forcing them reposition and it’ll make life easier for your DPS friends to finish them off.
D.Va counters and match-ups
As a Tank it’s particularly important to know who you’re biggest threats are, and who you’re best off targeting – the longer you’re alive after all, the longer your friends will stick around to back you up.
As always, we’ve broken our core advice down into the top three counters and targets to prioritise. More detail can be found further on in this section of our guide.
D.Va excels at dealing with deadly characters like Widowmaker and Pharah. Again it’s Defense Matrix to the rescue here, and D.Va’s exceptional mobility also ensures she’s a good chance of reaching her prey and giving Widowmaker a good clattering to boot.
D.Va is one of the strongest tank anti-tanks in the game. She can get behind Reinhardt’s shield and take him down, or force him to turn and expose his flank to your team. She can also keep up with Winston and do more damage in a one-on-one scenario. Defense Matrix can take a lot of the sting out of Roadhog’s Ultimate.
Anyone capable of doing big burst damage to D.Va’s mech suit is a threat – Reaper and McCree spring immediately to mind here, as is anyone who can affect her mobility like Mei. Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord also threatens to nullify D.Va’s health capacity strength too.
For help with other Heroes, make sure you check out our complete Overwatch: Counters guide.
D.Va Skins, Victory Poses, Emotes and Voice Lines
There are lots of different customisation options available if you want to change how D.Va looks and sounds in battle. Here’s a quick breakdown of all the skins, emotes and other unlocks that are currently available for this Hero.
|I Heart You||75||Rare|
|A New Challenger!||25||Common|
|D.Va: 1, Bad Guys: 0||25||Common|
|I Play To Win||25||Common|
|Is This Easy Mode?||25||Common|
|No Hacks Required||25||Common|
|I’m #1||–||Summer Games|
|I’m Not Scared||75||Halloween|
|Aw,You Shouldn’t Have||–||Winter|
|The Best Things In Life||–||Lunar|
|Not Taking Me Seriously||–||Uprising|
|Try And Keep Up||–||Uprising|