When it comes to tank Heroes in Overwatch, D.Va can be a mixed bag. Her versatility can offer a plethora of options and strategies in battle. Yet, this abundance of freedom can paradoxically make her tricky to master. The fact that her massive mech makes her an easy target and her tweaked Defense Matrix has major limitations can invite calamity if you're not careful.
It's true that there's no single definitive way to play as this mech-piloting pro gamer, and tactics will vary a bit depending on one's playstyle. Still, she does possess a number of strengths and nuances which often aren't fully exploited.
With that said, let's go over 10 fixable mistakes that D.Va players typically make; mistakes that can turn her into a vulnerable bucket of bolts rather than the mechanized powerhouse she can truly be.
10 Ineffective Or Overusage Of Defense Matrix
Ever since Blizzard tweaked D.Va's mechanics and abilities to shorten the time of her Defense Matrix shield, it's become a tougher feat to utilize this effectively. This ability now only lasts a measly 2 seconds and has an 8-second cooldown to a full recharge. Thus, you have to know precisely when to bust it out during the heat of battle.
Despite her flexibility and mobility, many tend to forget that D.Va's primary role is as a tank. This means not just acting as a damage sponge for your team, but directly shielding them from harm whenever possible. You'll want to stand in front of priority targets on your team and throw that Matrix up, especially when grouped together. While brief 2-second bouts of the shield don't sound like much, it can be just enough to get a teammate a little cover to mount a successful attack or narrowly escape danger.
9 Playing Too Passively
Being the versatile player that D.Va is, much of your effectiveness with her will involve balancing defense and offense, and knowing what to do at what point. What you don't want to do is sit on the sidelines and throw down ill-timed Defense Matrixes or pointlessly poke at distant foes.
D.Va has a pretty effective set of offensive moves as well as a boost - so use them! Of course, you'll only want to implement a dive when the situation calls for it, or else you'll be melted quickly. Opportune times for a D.Va dive usually includes a combined offensive and zeroing on weak targets with DPS fighters or other mobile tanks like Winston. You'll also typically want to charge an opponent when they're isolated, especially if these are "squishier" types with low health like Widowmaker or Soldier 76.
8 Improper Trajectories Of Self-Destruct
Self-Destruct can be an absolutely devastating Ultimate that can swiftly turn momentum with its massive area-of-effect power. Still, many tend to drop the ball - or in this case the bomb - when it comes to this ability. Most that play D.Va in even a casual sense are aware that you'll want to rock your boost right before ejecting your Ult, so your bomb blasts its way towards foes.
Yet, a good number of players will flub the trajectory of the bomb. The exact trajectory will, of course, depend on the circumstances. As a general rule, though, you'll want to lob your mech at a pretty shallow ark, so that it's both hard to track and to avoid. If you want to get really fancy, do a brief boost at a shallow angle before averting to a steeper angle right before launching it. If you've got a wall or other means of cover, try to lob it over the wall. The goal is to reduce the enemy's awareness and thus reaction time as much as possible.
7 Failing To Melee
It might seem weird to have a massive mech character with short T-Rex arms perform melee bashes, but there are times when this is called for. You'll often see pro D.Va players utilize this following up a dive where they've unleashed a barrage of Fusion Cannons and exhausted the Micro Missles.
It might not seem like much, but a dive attack that adds that a bit of extra firepower at the tail end of the barrage can be the finishing blow to a foe that might otherwise just escape with low health.
6 Lack Of Team Protection
Yes, D.Va can and should dive when the occasion calls for it. Still, her default role in the group, at least during the early phases of the fight, is to help the main tank(s) protect the team when needed.
Even if your Defense Matrix is down, which will occur often, simply being a presence for your team and a large obstruction for your opponents can help take the heat off your more vulnerable teammates. Meager actions like standing in front of a choke point or covering for a Mercy player as they revive can go a long way over the course of a fight. You might take a beating in some of these scenarios, but good healers should be able to keep you going and make you an unstoppable force.
5 Failing To Use Ultimate Combos
Another effective way to truly get the most "bang for your buck" when it comes to D.Va's Self-Destruct is to pair it with other players whose Ults can help enhance your own. This isn't a requirement of course, but it can mean the difference between 2 quick kills and 3 or 4.
Plan a synchronized attack with a Zarya or Mei player - as they can both freeze enemies to a confined location, making them unable to flee when D.Va pops Self-Destruct. It's easy pickins and only takes a little communication and coordination.
4 Failing To Boost Out Of Trouble
While the explosive meched-up tank Hero doesn't quite have the speed or maneuverability of Winston, she can still scramble to safety with little sweat by boosting away from trouble. This should be taken advantage of, as her large hitbox makes her an easy target, which can mean a quick death if you're heavily targetted.
Many D.Va players will either panic or simply commit to a fight when being outnumbered or outgunned. This doesn't have to be the case. Part of playing a good D.Va means knowing when to dive into a confrontation, as well as knowing when to bail from one. So at times, you may want to just swallow your pride and take off so you can fight another day.
3 Improper Targets For Micro Missles
Sure, the Micro Missles have been dialed back in damage, but they can still pack a punch if used wisely. Since the cooldown time on these missiles stands at 8 seconds, you'll want to pick the right targets, and try to maximize your odds in landing successful hits.
You can achieve both of these goals by prioritizing the more lumbering tank opponents. A barrage of Micro Missles can be devastating to a Roadhog or a shieldless Winston and can help chip away at enemy shields far more quickly.
2 Not Accounting For Counters
Most D.Va players know what a nightmare this otherwise entertaining Hero can be when faced with a cheeky Genji, Sombra, and/or Reaper. Mei can especially be a hassle as Defense Matrix is useless against her Endothermic Blaster. Part of being a good D.Va player is being aware of your opponents and adjusting accordingly. This might not necessarily mean switching to another tank, but you may want to play a more distant, defensive game if the opposing team has two or more of your counters.
You'll also want to exploit the opponents that you counter, which includes Widowmaker, Torbjorn, and Winston. It may very well be your job to be extra aggressive and dive on these foes by yourself.
1 Staying Out Of The Mech Too Long
One of this tank's coolest features can also be her biggest downfall. After D.Va's mech is destroyed, you become mech-less or "baby" D.Va - in a much less effective, more vulnerable state. While her blaster can be respectable if you land hits, playing without a mech is usually a big detriment for yourself and your team.
D.Va players will often make the mistake of hanging around too long in "baby" form as they desperately try to get enough Ult charge to regain their mech. The problem with this is you're wasting precious time that can be spent regrouping and mounting another team attack at full strength. If the enemy team has disengaged and you find yourself in mech-less limbo, consider quickly dropping off a nearby cliff to respawn with your mech and synchronize with your teammates.
Another trick you can exploit is to return to spawn, quickly swap out your characters, then change back to a re-meched D.VA. You'll lose the Ult charge you've accumulated, but the trade-off could be worth it.