PES 2020: Gameplay Breakdown – enhanced ball physics, first touch, defending & Adaptive Player Interaction

How will the help of legendary Andres Iniesta affect the gameplay on PES 2020?


The PES 2020 demo is just days away, and we will all be able to get our hands on the first little taste of the new game. 

Although the Konami brand has created headlines in recent weeks for picking up the exclusive rights for Juventus as well as the Brazilian leagues, their impressive new gameplay has gone under the radar. 

Former Barcelona and Spain superstar Andres Iniesta was a consultant as the new gameplay was being designed for PES 2020. This includes improvements to dribbling, first touch and ball mechanics to give the game a more authentic feel.

We got our hands on PES 2020 during hands on events with Bayern Munich and Juventus, as we run through the big new features for the game. 

READ MORE: Everything we know about PES 2020

Finesse Dribble

Working closely with Iniesta, the Finesse Dribble has been designed to help technically gifted players slip past defenders using their ability, as well as the gamer’s anticipation of defender movements.

It isn’t clear how the new dribbling technique can be used, however, Konami have placed an emphasis on the improved spatial awareness of the player being controlled and finesse dribbling allowing for greater agility.

Andres Iniesta adds his knowledge to PES 2020

Another exciting addition to the game is the inclusion of a Ronaldinho likeness. Players can recreate the legendary Brazilian trickster in his movements on the pitch to find exciting ways of beating opponents and attempting outrageous skill moves.

First Touch

This feature may not directly affect players in the way they play, however it will look great and give the authentic feel PES 2020 is striving for. First touch is a key part of football and each player has their own style, mimicked by the developers as they have created new techniques that suit different players dependent on their individual style.

There are also new ways of 'trapping' the ball which include a no-touch', allowing a player to run alongside the ball, likely to be useful for pacey players who won’t have to stop and go. 

Another new technique will be a feint trap which will allow players to trick an opponent into going one way before darting off in a different direction, another feature designed to make attacking play more dynamic.

READ MORE: SIX things we learned playing PES 2020

Lastly, the introduction of various ‘flair’ touches and controls such as chest and back controls, as well as showboat first touches give players the chance to express themselves on the pitch. 

Context-Sensitive Kick Accuracy

A huge bonus for players who employ a patient approach to the game. This feature affects the accuracy of a pass or shot depending on the body position of a player and time they have on the ball.

This means that working the space to find the final pass will be of greater importance on PES 2020 and will also affect the way teams defend, allowing time on the ball could prove costly.

Ball Physics

An area in which both PES and FIFA have concentrated on this year, PES 2020 will contain enhancements to the physics engine allowing for a ‘deeper gameplay experience’. 

PES 2020 Official Trailer

Players will be able to anticipate the path of the ball and adjust their first touch accordingly due to the greater realism of plater-ball interactions. 

PES fans can now use various parts of the foot to control the ball and continue attacking in a fluid style as the new engine allows for greater precision and control on the ball.

Realistic Defending

Defending on PES 2020 is set to become increasingly intense. New tackle animations have been created as well as improvements to the headed clearances animations too.

READ MORE: Juventus PES 2020 ratings revealed

A brand-new feature to this year’s game is the intentional foul. This will become a firm favourite for those who enjoy the dark arts of football and is bound to cause controversy between friends. How it will affect the game remains to be seen but expect to see an increase in tactical/cynical fouls.

New Abilities

'Aggression', 'Tight Possession', 'Through Ball' and 'Long Shot' have been added to the game to improve your player.

Each ability will increase a player’s capability of performing the respective skill. 'Aggression' will increase the speed in which a player closes down their opponent. 'Tight Possession' will affect the ability of a player on the ball when surrounded by defenders. The 'Through Ball' skill will make a player’s through balls more accurate and the same goes for the 'Long Shot' ability.

Adaptive Player Interaction

Arguably the most exciting new feature. This new system will affect the team rather than an individual as the team will play according to each player’s strengths.

READ MORE: Bayern Munich PES 2020 ratings revealed

When a playmaker receives the ball, the team will take up more offensive positions to exploit the passing skills possessed by the individual on the ball.

The same effect occurs when a skilful dribbler is in possession as his teammates will make runs to create space for them to drive in to.

This new feature mimics real-life team chemistry as players will have to understand which individuals work best with other members of the squad and how to get the best out of them.

If this feature is effective, it will be a game changer.

For more on PES 2020 head to our absolutely everything piece here.

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Michael Wicherek

Studying BA Sports Journalism at University of South Wales, Cardiff.

Keen sportsman, currently representing University of South Wales football club.

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