PES 2017: Pro Evolution Soccer can be seen as an interim improvement over its predecessor, PES 2016. The rosters were mostly updated for the 2016/17 season, the first touch of the ball is calculated through individual player's statistics, improved passing is stressed, advanced team instructions have been included to allow elaborate strategies like the Tiki-Taka, new on-the-fly options have been added during the match, and the AI and visual presentation have been given a boost. Goalkeepers have seen several individual improvements of their own, such as deflection when a shot is near their feet, reactivity to unexpected side shots, and fingertip saves for shots as they approach the goal line. The myClub mode now has Scout and Auction options.
For the first time, a PES cover features five players. They are FC Barçelona players Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Ivan Rakitić, and Gerard Piqué. This is an official team picture and was not made specially for the game. This is Neymar's third feature, and Messi's first since PES 2011. This was also the first time a Croatian footballer was featured in a game cover.