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Overwatch DVa - Playing the Game's Most Mobile and Versatile Tank - Esportsranks
Overwatch DVa – Playing the Game’s Most Mobile and Versatile Tank

In Overwatch DVa is a tank hero that is particularly mobile. That extreme mobility allows her to hit targets that are far behind an enemy line of defense. Her defensive matrix allows her excellent survivability, while her ultimate ability, Self Destruct, can easily decimate an entire team. DVa’s mech is armed with rotating canons, and can also fly through the air to charge a group of enemies. When in the mech, DVa has four hundred points of health and two hundred points of armor. She only has a hundred and fifty health when she is out of her mech. When playing a team game in Overwatch DVa is an excellent protective hero for the team, as well as one capable of inflicting devastating damage on an enemy team.

Overwatch DVa – A versatile character

DVa is a very interesting hero to play, precisely because she has two forms. Deadly as DVa is when she is inside her mech, she is also interesting to play when she leaves it. This happens when the mech has no life points left. When that happens, DVa automatically ejects from the vehicle, and the latter is destroyed, without dealing any damage to DVa or to surrounding players.

At this point, DVa is essentially on foot

DVa is extremely vulnerable at this point, and your goal when you are out of your mech is to take down as many of your opponents as you can, while staying within the protection of various allies. Taking down opponents while you are on foot allows your “Call Mech” ability to charge faster, thereby actually shortening the length of time that D.Va must continue without the protection of her mech. The moment your Call Mech ability is loaded, you must use it to return to the mech. Remember, that DVa is not really a very viable character when she is on foot, as, though she has a powerful weapon, she hasn’t enough hit points to stand up to more powerful characters.

It’s quite another matter when DVa is in her mech, as the mech is very robust

However, you should understand, that the mech is resistant mainly to attacks from the front. DVa’s mech is almost impossible to destroy from the front. On the other hand, if an enemy gets behind the mech, it is much more vulnerable to attack. Besides all this, which makes DVa an excellent tank, she can also activate her defensive matrix ability, which makes her invincible – again, from the front – to almost every attack.

The defensive matrix can also block Pharah’s ultimate ability, the barrage. When the situation calls for it, DVa can also use Self Destruct, and destroy her mech in an explosion that causes massive damage over an area of effect. Oddly enough, this ability is dangerous to use for DVa herself, but not for her allies. If DVa stands to close to her mech when its self-destructs, she can be caught in the explosion and injured. However, friendly heroes will not damaged in the same explosion.

Overwatch Dva in her Mech, firing fusion cannons.

How to play DVa  in mech mode

In Overwatch DVa has two massive advantages. Firstly, her mech’s boosters allow her to fly, giving her excellent mobility. Secondly, the mech’s two fusion cannons never need to reload, ensuring that DVa can put constant pressure on an enemy team with  a steady stream of continuous fire. The only two times that you will have to refrain from shooting will be when you use your defensive matrix, or your boosters. The rest of the time, all you need to do is hold down your left click, and keep it down to the end of the match. That’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.

Do remember that you have to stop firing if you want to change your position in a hurry, as the mech moves slower when it is maintaining a continuous barrage of fire.

Use your Boosters tactically

DVa is by far the most mobile tank in Overwatch. The fact that DVa’s boosters allow her to be so mobile allows her to place herself behind the enemy, or to take them in the flank. It allows her to not only reach heights herself, but also to flush out enemies with a height advantage, including snipers.

The boosters are especially important because DVa does maximum damage at short and medium ranges, while her weapons are more or less ineffective at long range. The fusion cannons have damage that disperses rapidly, so the further the target is from you, the less damage you will do.

The boosters run for a maximum of two seconds, and then have a cool down of just five seconds. This means you can use them almost continuously through a match to put yourself within firing range of the opposing team, as well as to move out of firing range of the opposing team if they concentrate their efforts on destroying you.

Playing DVa tactically could quite simply be put as alternating between firing and shooting, continuously. Let’s examine each of DVa’s abilities in detail.

Overwatch DVa – The Defensive Matrix

This is one of D.Va’s most effective abilities. It stays active for three seconds and during this time every projectile that approaches D.Va will be destroyed. Using this ability at the right time can protect DVa from powerful ultimate abilities like Pharah’s Barrage. The ability takes ten seconds to reload, so make sure you use it at just the right time. DVa’s defensive matrix can be used along with her boosters and must preferably be focused upon destroying enemy projectiles that are especially dangerous to your team. The fact that the Defensive Matrix can be used alongside your boosters makes you extremely mobile when using this ability, allowing you to fly around your team deflecting a vast quantity of enemy attacks.

Fending off attacks in strength

You must also use the defensive matrix if you suddenly find yourself being attacked by the entire strength of the enemy team, and your boosters are charging, making it impossible to escape immediately. At this point, using the Defensive Matrix can deflect enemy attacks long enough for your boosters to charge, thus allowing you to escape safely.

It goes without saying that your defensive matrix must be used to protect teammates behind you. This ability is most effective against McCree, Reaper, Pharah and Soldier 76. Time the defensive matrix right, and you can ward off an enemy ultimate attack from your team that would otherwise devastate your team.

Overwatch DVa controlling her mech.

Overwatch DVa – Using Self Destruct most effectively

As we mentioned before, DVa’s Self Destruct ability can be used in some very tactical ways. This is a powerful ability since it causes massive damage over an area of effect, and any enemy player caught in the blast can be killed off virtually instantaneously. To avoid damage, members of the enemy teams will have to protect themselves by taking cover behind obstacles, such as walls. The Self Destruct takes four second to activate, which does gives some warning of the imminent attack.

Using Self Destruct tactically

While most opposing heroes will take cover when you trigger the mech to Self Destruct, the ability can still be used tactically in a number of ways. One of the most important of these is forcing an enemy team to break their formation, or to abandon a strong position that they are holding. When you park the mech in their midst and trigger the self-destruct they have no choice but to abandon the position that they are in.

Combining Self Destruct with boosters

Characters like Lucio will use abilities like Crossfade keep their allies alive and move them out of the area of the explosion. What many people do not realize is that DVa’s boosters and Self Destruct can be used together, allowing you to project the mech a considerable distance on boosters while initiating the Self Destruct sequence, thus reducing the warning that an enemy team has.

Think about it. If you simply park your mech in the middle of the enemy team and activate Self Destruct they have time to escape the explosion. However, if you propel the mech towards them on boosters and then activate the Self Destruct, the mech will arrive in the middle of the enemy team with the self-destruct sequence already counting down and will probably take out two or more members of the enemy team.

Overwatch DVa fanart.

Brilliant D.Va fanart by BanjiuEvik on Deviant Art.

Other strategies to use with the Self Destruct sequence…

An additional way to use the Self Destruct sequence with boosters is to propel the mech so that it is directly overhead, that is to say, right above the enemy team when it self-destructs. This makes the explosion impossible to avoid for enemy team members caught directly beneath it. The mobility of the mech combined with this extremely powerful ability can negate even the tracking abilities of heroes like Widowmaker or Hanzo.

Another strategy for using this ultimate ability is to execute it in an extremely enclosed space where your opponents don’t have much place to run anyway.

So just how much damage does Self Destruct actually do?

The explosion dispenses one thousand points of damage, which means that even a Winston caught in the area of effect will not survive. It goes without saying that once you have self-destructed your mech, you will be on foot until you can charge your Call Mech ability and summon a new mech.

Self Destruct fits right into your team’s tactics if you time it alongside another hero’s powerful ultimate ability, especially one that traps members of the opposing team. Zarya’s Graviton Surge, Reinhardt’s Seismic Shock or Mei’s Blizzard are all abilities that can reduce the mobility of the enemy team, allowing you to use your Self Destruct to best effect.

Playing DVa on foot…

When her mech is destroyed in Overwatch DVa finds herself on foot with just one hundred and fifty points in health and a blaster gun that does decent damage. In other words, the almost indestructible tank has suddenly become very fragile. Do note, though, that you shouldn’t simply wait passively for your Call Mech ability to recharge, as any damage you do on foot will shorten the recharge time and allowed you to call your mech back faster.

Immediately after ejecting from the mech you must leave the front line of the fight and quickly take cover behind more resilient allies. Your pistol has a decent range of fire, as well as a good firing rate, which makes it, all told, a reasonably formidable weapon if you attack enemies from cover, or fight from the rear of your group. DVa’s light weapon has a twenty round magazine.

Overwatch DVa Self Destruct sequence.

Overwatch DVa – Her Weaknesses

One of DVa’s biggest weaknesses is that her hitbox is very large – I am referring to the hitbox of the mech, of course. Since the mech has to engage the enemy at short ranges, the large hitbox means that it can quickly start to take extreme levels of damage, even with the Defensive Matrix. DVa must therefore be played reasonably tactically, and you must know when to attack, and especially master retreating rapidly if you find your mech taking massive damage.

Heroes that mesh well with Overwatch DVa


If there is a Reinhardt on the opposing team, it can be difficult to effectively use DVa’s Self Destruct because of Reinhardt shield. Sombra will be able to hack Reinhardt and prevent him from using his shield, thereby allowing you to use your Self Destruct ability to best effect.


Mei’s wall and her ultimate ability can prevent an entire team from escaping from DVa’s Self Destruct. However, in order to achieve this effectively a very high degree of coordination is needed between the characters, as well as perfect timing in the execution of their individual skills.

Heroes that best counter Overwatch DVa

Some heroes that can easily counter DVa are Zarya and Bastion.


Zarya’s particle gun can pass right through DVa’s defensive matrix. In addition, the shields that Zarya can place over herself and her allies can negate DVa’s self-destruct capabilities.


In sentry mode, Bastion can inflict massive damage upon DVa, negating much of her ability to stay in the fight.

How to play Overwatch DVa in Mech Combat

Overwatch DVa – Pros of the character

In mech mode

In mech mode she is extremely mobile with an ability to fly that has a very low cool down. She can easily pierce enemy lines to reach enemy DPS heroes such as snipers. The character in mech mode has an extreme amount of health points, as well as a Defensive Matrix that further allows her to resist damage. The mobility of the mech allows it to effortlessly enter or leave a fight. In addition, her weapons in mech mode have unlimited ammo, allowing her to fire continuously. Damage in mech mode is devastating at point blank range. She just needs to aim at opponents’ heads with her weapon to put them down in about three shots.

DVa on foot

DVa does retain certain advantages even when she is on foot. She is extremely mobile and moves faster than most other heroes. She can also move extremely fast while attacking, which is not the case when she is in mech mode. On foot, DVa has an extremely small hitbox, making her difficult to target. The gun she carries on foot has both damage and accuracy, with a damage potential that is similar to Genji’s shuriken. Her rate of fire while she is on foot is also very high.

Overwatch DVa – Cons of the character

In mech mode

The mech’s large hitbox means that it cannot be exposed for very long to concentrated enemy attacks. DVa cannot stay very long in the fight if she does not want to lose her mech. In mech mode she will need to move in and out of a fight at regular intervals to be as effective as possible. Another negative aspect of DVa in mech mode is that her weapon reduces her mobility. The weapon needs to be used at point blank range to be effective, but using it slows down DVa’s mech. Yet she needs her mobility to move to pursue fleeing targets. This makes this character less effective than it otherwise would be.

The Self Destruct ability is hard to place. If you don’t have a sniper of the team to reveal grouped opponents, or you don’t have an ally who is in sight of the enemy team giving you vocal instructions, it is almost impossible to place the Self Destruct ability so that it actually harms the opposing team. This is also not a very stealthy character, allowing opponents to spot an incoming mech reasonably easily, and so to avoid being caught in the blast radius of the Self Destruct sequence.

On foot

On foot, DVa has virtually no capacity for survival. As a matter of fact, often enough DVa does not even survive the destruction of her mech. If DVa’s mech is destroyed in an inconvenient location, her own death will follow almost immediately afterwards. There’s just about no ability that can save DVa if she allows her mech to be destroyed in a dangerous or exposed location. This means that DVa needs to pay a special attention when in mech mode to her hit points, and to escape a confrontation if she finds her hit points dangerously low. To stay alive in a fight when she in on foot, DVa must stay in motion, and use every element of scenery, as well as the protective abilities of her allies, to survive.

Hot Overwatch DVa posing on her mech.

Overwatch DVa – Conclusion

DVa is a versatile and excellent tank, but she needs to be used tactically, and she is not easy to play. A player who really knows how to play DVa can be an enormous asset to the team. Conversely, a player who does not know how to play her can be quite ineffective. DVa does excellent damage, is more mobile that almost any other tank in the Overwatch universe, and has one of the most powerful ultimate attacks in the game. Playing with her is also fun and creates some very dynamic gameplay. Pair her with a Reinhardt or a Mercy and you have virtually the best defensive – aggressive combination in Overwatch.

DVa still has some faults, though. Her damage is low at medium ranges, and completely nullified at long distances. The size of the mech makes her particularly susceptible to group attacks. You must be very careful of heroes like Reaper, McCree and Roadhog, who can put out a lot of firepower. Also beware of Mei, who can effortlessly deprive you of your mobility.

If you liked this article, don’t forget to check out our pro play series on Overwatch Characters.

If you like the character DVa, here’s an amazing DVa cosplay…

Sexy Overwatch DVa Cosplay.

An interesting DVa cosplay by MeganCoffey on Deviant Art. Click the link to see more images by MeganCoffey, of this and many more of her brilliant cosplays.

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