PES 2017 tips: How to improve your game and play like a pro

To get the most out of your PES experience, there’s a few handy tips to consider as you start out. Follow this PES 2017 guide to improve your game, and check out our essential Master League tips.

giroud on the pitch

Play the Skills Training minigames

There’s a selection of mini games in the training menu that focus on different aspects of your game. You can play these to get high scores (and some trophies), but more importantly, to learn more about the nuances of the game. There’s free kick training that encourages you to bend the ball around or over a wall, a ‘piggy in the middle’ passing game to hone your passing precision, and many more that focus on the basics such as dribbling, tackling, shooting and clearing.

There’s four tiers of Skill Training, each ramping up the situations to better reflect what you’ll be facing in matches.

Related: PES 2017 demo

Play on Professional difficulty or higher

Unless you’re absolutely hopeless at football games, I’d ignore the lower difficulty settings as you learn little about how to properly play PES there, and it’s just not any kind of challenge. Professional difficulty upwards offers more bite, more A.I. tactical variation, and more enjoyment overall. Playing on anything lower with a view to playing online is unwise. At the same time, don’t force yourself higher if you’re still uncomfortable on the lower difficulty levels.

adam lallana playing football

Keeping the ball is better than going gung-ho

Whether you’re playing against the A.I. or BluntKing_89, bombing it down the wings and pelting the ball high is not a good, consistent method for getting results. Keeping hold of the ball on the ground for long stretches is key to creating chances through patient play. You can certainly learn to utilize high balls and flying wingers effectively in time, but holding onto possession as much as you can draws opponents out and creates pockets of space. Passing backwards into safer space is far more favourable than risking a pass forward into a congested area and losing possession.

Get direct control with L1 and left stick player on set pieces

While you can approach corners, goal kicks, free kicks and the like with the usual curved indicator line to launch the ball roughly where you want, the L1 and left stick method gives you more control over where you want to place the ball, and to which player specifically. It isn’t foolproof, and a decent human player will know roughly what you plan to do, but it can help direct set pieces to where you actually want them to go.

Related: PES 2017 gets league eSports integration

Experiment with teams and formations

Look, there’ll be enough people playing online that use Barcelona and bravely sticking with that shoddy front three of Neymar, Suarez and Messi. Don’t be one of those poor unimaginative souls. There are plenty of other sides that might suit your style better, especially in PES 2017, where defending and goalkeeping is so much more solid and adds variety to tactics.

daniel sturridge making a tackle

There’s nothing more satisfying than shutting out a superior side, overrunning a defence with slick attacking passing, or dominating midfield with the right players and formation, and it is entirely possible to do, but experimentation is key. Play a few exhibition matches against the A.I., or in online friendlies, with different teams and formations to figure out how you want to play. It will help immensely in the long run.

Read our PES 2017 review

Do you have any PES 2017 tips to share? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out how you can make your game more authentic by adding licensed teams and badges.