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 (coincidently, 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, 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 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.
FC Dnipro is currently controlled by the Privat Group.
There exist a friendship between supporters of Dnipro and Dynamo Kyiv.