D.Va Guide: How To Be The Best D.Va In The World

D.Va Guide: How To Be The Best D.Va In The World
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D. Va is a professional gamer turned mech pilot.

When her home country of South Korea came under attack during the Omnic Crisis, D. Va’s government turned to professional gamers for help. These gamers had the rapid reflexes and instincts needed to pilot mechanized armored drones (called “mech” for short). The South Korean government recruited many top gamers, the best of which was world champion Hana Song, A.K.A.: “D.Va”

D.Va is a great hero for beginner players to pick-up quickly and have a lot of fun with. She also has the potential to be a game changer when her skills are used to their fullest potential, and at the best moment. In this guide I’ll provide you with fundamentals you can use at any level, whether in bronze or top 500, to focus and improve your D.Va game.

Abilities

Fusion Cannons:

D. Va’s primary attack ability are her twin short-range cannons on either side of her mech that have infinite ammo -- just hold down right-click and boom you’re a pro, right?! Well.. the cannons unlimited ammunition makes them deceptively simple.

To get the most of her primary fire you’re going to want to keep in mind that D.Va’s cannons are like shotguns; their projectiles scatter like pellets, doing  0.6 - 2 damage per pellet. Headshots are possible, but there is fall-off damage -- this means that the further the target is, the less damage the attack does.

Keep in mind D.Va is a hero that is best suited for “dive” attacks: meaning you want to pounce on your enemy and immediately eliminate them and/or have cover or support nearby immediately afterward. More on this later in the guide.

Micro Missiles:

D.Va’s second attack ability are her micro missiles which have an 8 second cooldown. This quick barrage of missiles fires 11 missiles per second for 1.6 seconds, and inflicts splash damage (on yourself too!) in a 1.5m radius They are hard to aim accurately, and if you do manage to hit the enemy with every single one, their damage maxes out at 126. These missiles cannot headshot, and they do not have fall-off damage. But, you can also fire them while shooting your cannons, while flying, and even while you have defense matrix activated!

Defense Matrix:

D.Va’s defense matrix, a digital shield that she projects in front of her, is arguably one of the best abilities in the entire game… but for a very brief time. The matrix can be turned on or off, but only for a limited duration of 2 seconds total, and then it need 8 seconds to fully recharge-- so use it sparingly! But whenever you have the matrix activated it can absorb unlimited damage, and even completely eat up some heroes’ ultimate abilities (more on that later too).

Boosters:

D.Va’s booster jets quickly propel her forward for 2 seconds, which is enough time to reach a max distance of 25m. But transportation is only the beginning of this ability’s potential. You can also boost into enemies for 10 damage. It might not seem like much on its own, but when combined with a burst of micro missiles and simultaneous cannon blasting it makes for one quick, powerful dive bomb. Just remember there is a 5 second cool down for her boosters!

Speaking of bombs, that’s D.Va’s ultimate ability: she intentionally sets her mech to self-destruct as she leaps out of the back. This attack does a huge amount of damage (1000) to be exact, and takes 3 seconds to detonate. This ultimate ability is most effective when you boost before activating your ultimate, and launch your mech from a safe place into the heart of enemy territory. You should use that 3 second fuse time to your advantage and try to time the explosion so that it catches the enemy team when their most exposed.

Practice launching D.Va’s bomb, and once you’re pretty good at it, there’s endless potential when you can aim your bombs like Steph Curry. D.Va’s potential to still function both in and out of her mech leads me to what I like most about playing this hero: you can sort of “live forever.”

Light Gun / Call Mech:

When your mech is destroyed by the enemy (and briefly while you launch your ultimate) you can still live on as pilot-form D.Va (or baby D.Va as she is often called). You will then have only your Light Gun to fight with -- which is surprisingly powerful. You’ll have to charge up your ult meter again to earn the ability to call back your mech, and then the fight can begin again.

Although certain abilities are significantly hindered, D.Va is still very capable outside of her mech until she is able to call it back again. If you are able to stay alive you can repeat this process over and over again!

Weaknesses:

Besides Missiles, Short Range of Damage/Engagement capabilities:

If you don’t manage use your missiles strategically, D.Va’s kit can feel a bit powerless. It is hard to do any damage with her cannons unless enemies are close by, and if you’re that close you’ll probably take a lot of damage (and charging the enemies ultimate). And boosting around doesn’t do very much unless you have clear plan of where you're headed and who you’re going to eliminate.

Booster’s Get You In or Out, Not Both:

As I just mentioned, you need to plan ahead if you want to best utilize D.Va’s booster ability. The reason for this is because of their 5 second cooldown between uses. You should use the boosters to engage an enemy, or to escape from an engagement (or move to the next target). In those 5 seconds between between boost D.Va is a very large, slow moving target; who is even slower when firing her cannons!

Diving in leads to Charging Enemy Ultimates (“Feeding”):

Heroes that dive into combat are prone to soaking up a lot of damage because they were literally jumping into the line of fire. More damage taken (even if it is healed away) is more ult-charge for the enemy team.

Strategy Overview:

D.Va, as of the most current patch, is a sort of “bruiser” character. She is an off-tank who can dish a good amount of damage out, but can also take a good amount as well, while also providing key defensive capabilities. There are five things you especially need to keep in mind as a D.Va player: positioning, awareness, communication, and combo-ing.

Positioning:

As a dive tank brawler you want to carefully plan you attacks, and pounce when an opportunity arrives. Position will vary slightly depending on the level and the objective, but the fundamentals will stay the same. With Defense Matrix’s limited up time you can’t just huddle with your team absorbing damage. And, with D. Va’s limited armor/health (compared to main tanks), and relatively long booster cool down, you can’t stray too far from cover and/or support when attacking.

To maximize D. Va’s kit you’ll want to stay behind cover and near the rest of your team while you soak up larger burst of damage and wait for the right time pounce on “Squishies” (targets no armor/ little health maximum) and heavily damaged opponents to finish them off quickly.

Awareness:

Being aware of those targets is your first job, the second is what you’re going to do next. Remember, because of their cooldown your boosters get you either in, or out, not both. So you need cover and healing asap.

Communication:

As with all heroes, communication is essential to getting the most out of D.Va. The great thing about Overwatch is that you will always be better when you play as a team. So make sure you communicate your strategy with your teammates.

Let your team know when you are about to dive on a target so they can be ready to engage with you, or heal you afterwards. Let them know when you are going to flank the enemy objective, or if you want to time your ultimate ability to combo with theirs, or any other general strategy information. The more the better.

And remember to listen too! D.Va’s strengths are mobility and quick combo dive-damage, so listen up for callouts: “Mercy is low!” -- track her down and finish her off. “Widowmaker is up on the bridge!” -- boost up to her and knock her off. “Zarya has her ultimate!” -- watch her closely and be ready to eat it up with your defense matrix.

Combos:

None of D.Va’s attacks require exact aiming except her pistol. So when practicing D.Va’s skills in the training area, what you want to improve are your bursts of damage. Don’t just fire your cannons, plan to boost into an enemy with your rockets flying, melee quickly to cancel your boost, and then begin firing your cannons.

Below are more specifics on when/how to use each attack.

Using D.Va’s abilities to Your Advantage:

Fusion Cannons:

First and foremost, these bad boys are great for being annoying! Create danger zones to keep your enemies at bay by peeking around corners and firing them whenever safe/possible. D.Va’s cannons are also great for breaking shields (as you don’t have to reload).

Sometimes they’re also great for just laying a huge pounding on an enemy close range--even at the cost of taking a good amount of damage yourself. Just make sure you’re confident that you’ll win the fight in the end, and that healing will be available quickly afterwards.

Micro Missiles:

Use these to create a burst of damage when you dive. Another good use, that is rarely used, is to use the micro missiles to farm ult charge by firing them into heavily populated areas like choke points. Just make sure that the missiles aren’t on cooldown when you’re ready to dive in and attack with your team.

Boosters

In addition to doing damage, D.Va’s booster also knockback enemies. Use this to clear space, or even knock your opponents off ledges. Always remember you can cancel your boosters at any time too. Use this more advanced technique to perch on ledges, halt quickly before you fly too far into a dangerous situation, or if you simply want to start the cooldown until your next booster usage sooner.

Another use for the booster that is underutilized (probably because it seems counterintuitive) is to fly straight up. This is a great way to temporarily escape the fray of battle, to gain a better vantage point to plan your next attack, or to get ranged healing from Ana or Zenyatta.

Defense Matrix:

You can hang out towards the back of your team and still cover them all with defense matrix, because unlike other shields it projects out in front D.Va’s mech. But ideally you’ll want to save your matrix charge to use at times that will maximize its effectiveness.

It’s great to use to shield your team briefly as you pass between cover, and with practice you can learn the attack cycles of certain enemies, and use defense matrix to eat up an entire tracer clip for example; or sniper fire. Similarly you can defense matrix to neutralize powerful enemy abilities like Reinhardt's firestrike, Ana’s grenade, McCree’s flashbang, and many more!

However the most powerful use of defense matrix is to eat entire ultimates! Here is the list of ultimates that D.Va can totally devour:

Graviton surge

Blizzard

Molten core (torb and turret)

Tactical visor

Barrage

Whole hog

Pulse bomb

Tank configuration

Death blossom

Deadeye

Hanzo ult (arrow only)

Pilot Form (Baby D.Va) / Call Mech

Remember that D.Va’s light gun is surprisingly powerful, and to fire it constantly as you de-mech--you're likely to do a good amount of damage to any enemy that’s in your face by doing this. Fire at choke points and toward areas where enemies are likely to be to charge up your call mech ultimate quickly. Just fire, fire, fire!

Self-Destruct Bomb:

Using D.Va’s ultimate for maximum damage takes practice, as does any hero’s ult, before you are able to get consistent multi-kills with it. The first thing you want to do is learn how to launch her mech while boosting. After that, what you want to consider before launching is what cover is nearby where the mech will end up, and are you in a situation where it might actually be more useful for you to be in your mech. Even after hundreds of hours playing D.Va, I’m still surprised by how many or how few kills I get from some of my D.Va bombs -- which is really part of the fun!

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Compensating for D. Va's Weaknesses:

Short Range of Damage/Engagement capabilities:

You can’t snipe enemies from across the map with D.Va, and that’s ok. What you can do instead is create “zones” that you control with your damage (or the threat of your damage). You can also create these zones from a distance by quickly denying enemies that are isolated within your booster range: like a Widowmaker or Hanzo alone on high ground.

Booster’s Get You In or Out, Not Both:

Your booster cool down is something you’ll have to deal with, so just think ahead! Make sure there is cover nearby after your dive attacks, or that a support knows you are about to dive so they can pocket-heal you right away. And when your boost recharges, you can use your above average mobility to dart back to the protection of your team, or even sometimes further into enemy territory to disrupt their positioning!

Diving in leads to Charging Enemy Ultimates (“Feeding”)

It is true that that diving into the line of fire builds ultimate charge for the enemy, but if you are diving strategy is working, then this shouldn’t matter too much. If your team is not making progress, if you are not able to control the point, if things just aren’t going well in general, maybe it’s time to change it up. Part of mastering D.Va is knowing her strengths and weaknesses, and when it’s time to switch.

Tips and Tricks:

Sometimes killing isn't the best use for D.Va’s ultimate bomb. It’s also great for clearing the cart (or the point) of the enemy team, and for defensively zoning off enemies.

Use her bomb when your mech is destroyed and you just need a new mech! Just make sure you can call your new one before you’re killed.

If you’re low on health, try flying straight up and let a mercy know you need healing. Sometimes she can easily fly to you, or another support can help you out.

When in pilot form, you don’t have to click the fire button to shoot, just hold it down and it fires automatically.

 

Although it may not seem like it most the time, the point of playing Overwatch is to have fun! And that’s why I love playing D.Va so much. Her kit allows her to do a little bit of everything, and is a lot of fun to play.

 

You may also be interested in:

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I spent some time living in Morrowind, the Capital Wasteland, and had a brief stint in the Anomalous Materials department at Black Mesa. Now I write features and critical pieces about my experiences,
Gamer Since: 1993
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Overwatch
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Life is Strange: Episode 4 - Dark Room, Portal
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