During the Soviet Union the club was a member of the Soviet Volunteer Sports Society "Metallurg" (therefore it carried names Metallurg and Stal) and until 1961 was under sponsorship of the Petrovsky Dnipropetrovsk Metallurgical Plant. After that the club was sponsored by the Southern Machine-building Plant Yuzhmash. Before the fall of the Soviet Union, the club was the second most successful club of Ukraine that participated in the Soviet Top League, winning in 1983 and 1988. Sometime after the fall of the Soviet Union, the club was privatized.
The club's franchise traces its history all the way back when the first team that was formed in 1918 by the Petrovsky factory and was called as BRIT (Brianskyi Robitnychyi Industrialnyi Tekhnikum). The team participated in the regional competition (Katerynoslav championship). With the four other teams BRIT played its games on small stadium "Sokil" which was located at the corner of Pushkin street and Yuriy Savchenko street.
Due to World War I, BRIT was disbanded, but on 9 May 1925 a new team was formed in Dnipropetrovsk (coincidentally, later the day became to be known as the Victory Day). The team participated under a generic name as football team of Petrovsky factory. The official name it received in 1926 when it became to be known as "Petrovets". The team entered the first Soviet competition under the name of Stal (steel, En) in 1936 in one of the lower divisions. The team participated in the three championship before World War II. After the war, in 1947, the team reentered the Soviet competition and was merged with another club from Dnipropetrovsk, FC Dynamo Dnipropetrovsk. From 1949 until 1961, the team was called Metalurh (from English metal worker). During this time the team participated for three seasons, 1950–1952, among the amateurs due to poor results. In 1954, Metalurh Dnipropetrovsk reached the semi-finals of the USSR Cup, where it lost to Spartak Yerevan.
In 1961, the team was handed over to its new sponsor, the Yugmash (the Southern machine-producing factory), which at that time was one of the most powerful factories in the entire Soviet Union and was funded by the Ministry of Defense. It was part of the Zenit volunteer sports society. The new sponsor changed the team's name to the Russian name of Dnepr, Dnieper, as the Russian was the accepted language of the Soviet Union and the Soviet government. The team's performance did not change much until after 1968, when Dnepr obtained Andriy Biba and the new coach – Valery Lobanovsky. After that it took the team three years to get promoted to the Soviet Top League and eventually took sixth place in 1972.
In 1973 and 1976 Dnepr reached the semi-finals of the USSR Cup competition. In 1978 the team was relegated to the lower league for two years. Their next return to the top flight was not as inviting as their first one and the team languished at the bottom of the table for several years. In the following years, the governing body of the team hired new promising coaches – Volodymyr Yemets and Hennadiy Zhizdik. After those changes, Dnepr became a strong contender for the Soviet championship winning it twice: once with Yemets and Zhizdik in 1983, and another one with Yevhen Kucherevsky in 1988. Also, in 1989 Dnepr became the first professional football club in the Soviet Union. During those years, the team featured many notable players such as Oleg Protasov, Hennadiy Litovchenko, Oleksiy Cherednyk, and Oleh Taran.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the club took on the Ukrainian version name of Dnipro, the name of the biggest river and one of the major symbols of Ukraine. The club joined the football federation of the native country and remained one of the top contenders in the newly formed Ukrainian Premier League. The team received silver medals in 1993 as well as the bronze in 1992, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2004. The team also reached the Ukrainian Cup finals in 1995, 1997 and 2004, but lost all three to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Since 1966 Dnipro's home was Stadium Meteor in Dnipropetrovsk. Prior to that the club played at the Matalurh Stadium (formerly Stal Stadium). Meteor Stadium was built by the Soviet rocket company Yuzhmash on the original site and has undergone several renovations since, the last one being in 2001. However in 2002 after several spells in European competitions, it became clear that the club needed a new modern venue. Thus, in 2005 Pryvat Group started construction of Dnipro Arena in the centre of Dnipropetrovsk. The club played its last game at Meteor on 2 September 2008, against Metalist Kharkiv.
In April 2005 the club's new arena broke ground. It was constructed by Germany's largest construction company Hochtief. The construction itself took 3 years and 4 months, but a nine-month delay occurred due to a land dispute over a site where the stadium's car park was planned. The stadium's final capacity is 31,003 people and the initial estimated cost of the construction was set at €40,000,000.
The stadium was opened on 15 September 2008. The opening ceremony featured a speech by Ukrainian president Victor Yushchenko, a concert performance by a number of famous Ukrainian musicians and two football matches: Veterans of Dynamo Kyiv vs Spartak Moscow veterans, and Dnipro against Dynamo Kyiv. As a present to the club from the city the street that the stadium is situated on was renamed into Kucherevskyi Boulevard, in honour of Dnipro's late coach Yevhen Kucherevskyi. Dnipro played their first official game on 29 September 2008 against their local rivals FC Metalurh Zaporizhya, but Dnipro lost 1–2. They set a new attendance record for the Ukrainian Premier League2008–09 season, at 31,000 spectators.
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk participates in European competitions since 1984 after playing its first against Trabzonspor. Since 2001, however, the club participates almost on annual basis with variable successes.