Overwatch Guide: How to Play D.Va

By following this guide, you can learn the tips and tricks to one of Overwatch’s most recognizable tanks! Trying to find out how to play D.Va successfully? From deleting ultimate abilities to team-wiping self-destructs, D.Va is a force to be reckoned with.

Overwatch Guide: How to Play D.Va Cover

Overwatch is a game full of characters, each with their own exciting kit to master. One of the most well-known members of the cast is the South Korean mech pilot, D.Va. While players relate to her professional gamer background, her tanking role and versatile abilities can be the real draw. Despite the focus on team-based multiplayer, an individual’s contribution comes down to their own ability with a chosen hero. Therefore picking her up, a rather unconventional tank, typically results in failure if the player is unaware of her playstyle. By reading this Overwatch guide, you can learn the how-tos of playing D.Va and nerf the enemy team into oblivion!

This guide has been broken into two main categories, Gameplay and Game Sense. Learning to succeed with a character in this game requires baby steps. First, a player will need to understand the core gameplay mechanics tied to a hero. From there, they can begin to develop the abstract qualities necessary for utilizing those mechanics well. To clarify, this guide will focus on playing D.Va in the role-queue system, which is standard for the Quick Play and Competitive modes. Remember, getting good with a character will demand practice and a sizeable amount of failure. By using this guide to learn how to play Overwatch’s D.Va, you will have a leg up on your competitors.


Boosting into the Action

Boosting into the Action

Fusion Cannons & Micro Missiles

D.Va’s mech comes packaged with two main types of weaponry, Fusion Cannons and Micro Missiles. The Fusion Cannons are her primary means of fire and can be shot endlessly without requiring to reload. The Fusion Cannons are most effective at a close range of 10-20 meters and do slow down her movement speed. Her Micro Missile ability fires a stream of rockets for up to 126 damage, but only if the player lands them all on a target. The relatively short cool-down time of the missiles, eight seconds, and infinite ammo for Fusion Cannons allow for players to focus less on ammo conservation. While her weapons can be effective for melting shields, use them both in tandem with her melee attack to do lethal damage to supports or low-heath enemies.

Boosters & Defense Matrix

In addition to her weaponry, D.Va has two abilities that define her kit, Boosters and Defense Matrix. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to boost up to high ground easily. The mech’s Boosters are on a short cool-down of four seconds, so activate them often to get across the battlefield or up to a high point. Her weaponry is best launched at close range, so use the Boosters to get up in the face of an enemy with poor positioning and finish the job. Defense Matrix, on the other hand, is a forward-facing array that absorbs incoming projectiles, protecting your team. With a short duration, two seconds, do not waste this useful ability on inaccurate crossfire or beams. Think about it as a “delete” key, which can save Supports from flanker fire or absorb Ultimates like Zarya’s Graviton Surge or Reaper’s Death Blossom. While it requires quick response time, Defense Matrix can be just the ability you need to keep allies in action and avoid toxicity.


Winky face!

Winky face!

If you have seen anything about Overwatch, it is another player landing D.Va’s Ultimate, Self-Destruct, wiping the enemy team. While it may seem easy from the outside, Self-Destruct can be one of the most difficult Ultimate abilities to use well. Understanding map geometry, ideal timing and launch distance are just a few of the aspects necessary for beneficial usage. While players can activate Self-Destruct in the middle of combat, this typically will not be an ideal method.

Enter the training zone and practice combining her Booster ability with Self-Destruct. The bomb maintains the momentum from Boosters, so this can be used to shoot the Self-Destruct into combat from afar and catch unaware enemies. Getting a feel for the timing and distance of this technique will do wonders for your launches. By activating from afar, you can utilize corners and misdirection to trick the enemies, all while maintaining a safe position.

An Ultimate that can dish out 1000 damage to enemies within range should not be a cakewalk to land, but there are some strategies that can have consistent results. Always aim Self-Destruct for Supports because of their low mobility to escape and significance to team composition. However, one of the best ways to get epic results is to combine it with allied Ultimates that limit enemy mobility, such as Sombra’s EMP, Sigma’s Gravitic Flux, or the afore-mentioned Graviton Surge. At the end of the day, do not get discouraged if your Self-Destruct whiffs. If you can at least use it to get your team through a chokepoint or back into control of the objective, you have done good work. Just avoid panic activating it if your whole team is dead and are unable to utilize its strength.

Light Gun & Call Mech

Crush enemies with the Light Gun

Crush enemies with the Light Gun

So, you have launched your Self-Destruct and eliminated the entire enemy team…or not. What happens now? Once the player activates Self-Destruct or the mech’s life goes to zero, D.Va ejects and is left with 150 health and a Light Gun. Her second life, so to speak, is incredibly unique in Overwatch and allows her to keep going in battle. Players will need to be careful here because she goes from a tank to glass cannon. Her Light Gun does solid damage, helping her fend off harassing Damage characters. Play it safe, using the Light Gun at a distance, and you will charge up her secondary Ultimate, Call Mech. Activating this Ultimate will call in a fresh mech that allows her to resume her tank role. While Call Mech does damage to nearby enemies, smart players will eliminate her in the two seconds before it lands. Always call your mech from a safe location, like hidden around corners or when your team has the advantage.

Game Sense

Role: Tank

Now that you have a basic understanding of her abilities, you will need the strategies for being a great D.Va player. She is a Tank, but her versatile nature results in a more complex role. Typically, Tanks in games soak up damage or draw enemy attention so that Damage and Support characters can focus on what they do best. But, flying into combat and eating tons of damage will not end well for fans of the character. Despite her mech’s 400 health and 200 armor, she is best utilized as an “Off-tank.” This means she should support her team in ways other than being the instigator and primary target for enemies. One way is remaining in the back with supports, utilizing your high health and Defense Matrix to fend off attackers. Otherwise, D.Va can use her mobility to harass vulnerable enemies, assisting her Damage allies in the process.

Team Compositions

The classic Graviton Bomb Combo

The classic Graviton Bomb Combo

Her role as a tank varies greatly depending on the characters your teammates choose, especially the other tank. When pairing alongside Winston, another mobile tank, D.Va can take part in the “Dive” strategy. Winston jumps onto a low health support character; then his mech suited ally flies in to protect him with Defense Matrix or finish off the target. This is a simplistic description but should offer a relative idea of just one way she can protect and harass. D.Va works well with Tanks equipped with a shield, such as Reinhardt, Orisa, or Sigma because it allows her to be more aggressive and keep the enemy at bay. Zarya too, because her Projected Barrier can defend you while boosting into combat and her Ultimate combo’s well with Self-Destruct. With their limited protection, Roadhog and Wrecking Ball will leave D.Va to take the brunt of the damage, so consider picking another tank in that scenario.


Last but not least, we come to which Maps synergize best with her kit. Two factors to keep in mind here are verticality and open space. As described above, she can boost up to the high ground in seconds. Maps like Dorado, Numbani or Horizon Lunar Colony offer countless instances of vertical advantage to play around. Open space is also important for her, mainly because her Self-Destruct is most effective when the enemy team cannot run and hide behind a wall. While no map will take place in open areas the entire game, Junkertown, Rialto and Paris are a few which offer plenty of free space to land Self-Destruct. Overwatch is a game with many variables for success, but keep the strategies from this guide in mind, and you will learn how to play D.Va well enough in no time.

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