After the Dead or Alive 3 tournament, Zack wins a fortune playing roulette, and with his lady-luck girlfriend Nikki, purchases and sets up residence on Zack Island. He invites all the ladies from the DOA tournament to the island under false pretenses; instead of fighting, they are coaxed into taking a vacation and spend two weeks playing volleyball and being showered with gifts from Zack. Notably, the English voice portraying Zack during the opening and ending cutscenes is NBA star Dennis Rodman.
There is no final goal to achieve in DOAXBV, it has simulation mechanics related to volleyball, dating/friendship, casinos, and collectible fashion. First the player chooses one of the female DOA characters to be portrayed as while on vacation. The player can choose three major events per day (morning, noon and evening) over 14 days of game time. Activities like shopping or casino minigames do not advance the clock.
Each female character starts and finishes their vacation in one session, there is no way to jump between characters. Between play sessions the game remembers the player's bank and collection progress with each character; through this mechanic it is possible for the computer controlled characters to wear fashions purchased by the player in an earlier play session.
The primary activity and source of income on Zack Island is to play games of 2-on-2 volleyball, but the player can also watch the ladies frolic and enjoy the tropical environment through brief poolside mini-games or gravure cutscenes.
Shopping is available in the form of three stores: Swimwear, Accessory fashions, and "Zack-of-all-Trades" where various novelty items can be purchased to collect or to give away in friendship. There are a total of 328 unique swimsuits in the game, and each character can own 307. Each character can only purchase swimwear related to her "theme", and part of the game mechanic involves gradually winning the friendship of any character that you wish to give swimwear to, in order to complete their collection.
The hotel and casino offers several mini-games to play: Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, and One-Armed-Bandit (slot machines).
Deliberately marketed as a sexy, titillating game with a nudity warning, Xtreme Beach Volleyball received mixed reviews and public response based on its objectification of physics-defying female bodies. However, in comparison to many other game and animation titles in the Japanese market it is fairly tame, if perverted, and commonly considered a work of fan service.
While no cheat codes are officially available in DOAXBV, there have been unofficial modifications to the game, notably to increase money or remove the requirement of wearing clothing. Team Ninja anticipated these developments, and deliberately censored the character models to remain compliant with the official parental rating scheme. Aside from "subtle" depictions during the opening cutscene, any images showing the DOA characters fully nude during gameplay are assured to be faked.