Virtua Pro Football is Sega's attempt to compete with the FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer series. It's more similar to those than the more arcade based games in the Virtua Striker series. Controls work as can be expected and include short and long passes, crosses, shots and different defence options. The game features a special one on one mode where offensive players can challenge and dribble past a defender. The camera then zooms in to a behind the shoulder perspective of the dribbler and the player can do different stick and button combinations to get past the defender. Some of the movement options that are possible are lunge, feint and nutmeg.
The game features over 250 teams in twelve leagues (including three licensed ones; Dutch Eredivisie and Gouden Gids Divisie and Spanish LFP Primera Division). Competitions that the player can compete in are domestic leagues, club cups, international cup and custom leagues and cups. More unique is the player mode where the player gets to create and develop his own footballer. For each week the player can choose between practice, rest and going out. Practice is done through different mini games and by playing these the different skills will increase but so does the risk for injuries. Therefore rest is also needed at times. Going out means interacting with different people at various places and is needed to become more known to the supporters and the public. It's also possible to buy stuff, both football items and luxury items. Part of the player mode is also various events such as comments from the coach, meetings with the press and contract negotiations. The game also features a play book mode where the player can create his own tactics for set pieces.
Teams created in Sega's other football game, Let's Make A Soccer Team! can be imported into Virtua Pro Football.