Control is everything in a football game, and PES 2018 retains the immediacy and total control the series is famed for alongside refinements, that hone its authenticity. Matches are played at a more realistic pace, while a strategic dribbling system offers greater close control, including contextual shielding to protect the ball. Similarly, simple movements of the control stick can be used to initiate shimmies, designed to wrong-foot defenders. Konami has also implemented a REAL Touch + process, wherein players will react to receiving a ball using permissible parts of the body, such as chest, head and legs to bring a pass under control dependent on the height and pace of the incoming ball. All set piece routines have also been totally reworked, notably the way penalty kicks are taken and a one-player kick off routine as well.
PES 2018 also features a REAL Capture system, which provides true-to-life lighting across day and night games, as well as numerous components, that have been faithfully recreated, including the turf, tunnels, and the surrounding areas of stadia making stadiums, such as Camp Nou and Signal Iduna Park look like their real-life counterpart - both of which are exclusive in PES 2018. The individuality of how players move, shape to shoot and make passes is also closer to real life, with Konami motion-capturing players within realistic environments in a complete overhaul of the in-game animation system. Core movements, such as walking, turning, and posture have been reworked also, while the player models now have greater variety, with attention paid to the way kits fit differing physiques. Konami's agreements with partner teams will also see tattoos recreated on certain players as well.