With Majin Boo defeated half-a-year prior, peace returns to Earth, where Son Goku (now a radish farmer) and his friends now live peaceful lives. However, a new threat appears in the form of Beerus, the God of Destruction. Considered the most terrifying being in the entire universe, Beerus is eager to fight the legendary warrior seen in a prophecy foretold decades ago known as the Super Saiyan God. The series retells the events from the two Dragon Ball Z films, Battle of Gods and Resurrection 'F' before proceeding to an original story about the exploration of alternate universes.
As Goku and Vegeta continue their vigorous training, Shanpa and Vados abruptly arrive on Beerus' planet. After a small skirmish between Beerus and Shanpa, everyone settles down to eat some food. Formal introductions are exchanged, where Shanpa is introduced as Beerus' twin brother and Vados as Whis' older sister. An argument erupts concerning which universe's food is superior. This leaves Goku and Vegeta bewildered. Whis explains that there are twelve universes, with two universes that add up to thirteen being compliments of one another such as 6 and 7. These universes are compliments of each other by pairs. Thus, Universe 1 is compliment of Universe 12; Universe 2 compliments Universe 11, and so on. After Vados discovers that Universe Six's Earth has been destroyed through warfare, Shanpa proposes a tournament between Universes 6 and 7 to determine who acquires the Earth of Universe Seven. Beerus protests the idea, who believes it to be impossible. However, Shanpa declares that it is certainly possible. Shanpa says it can easily be done with the Super Dragon Balls, which the Namekian Dragon Balls from Universe 6 were trimmed from. Goku informs Beerus and Shanpa that Bulma is capable of locating the final Super Dragon Ball necessary to perform the wish. With tensions mounted, Beerus accepts Shanpa's proposal. Finally, Goku accepts the challenge as Vegeta agrees to be part of the bi-universe tournament.
Shanpa decides to host the tournament on a vacated nameless planet in Universe Six. Goku suggests the rules be similar to that of the Tenkaichi Budokai tournaments held on Earth. Vegeta recommends a written exam be implemented in order to prevent insensitive beings lacking knowledge of the regulations from participating. The tournament is slated to begin five days after the encounter between Beerus and Shanpa. On Earth, Whis requests that Bulma use her Dragon Radar in order to obtain the final Super Dragon Ball. Contrary to this, Bulma believes it would be easier to summon Shenlong to locate it instead. Shenlong reveals that tracking down the Super Dragon Balls is beyond his power. Meanwhile, Vados selects a portion of the nameless planet and transforms it into the tournament's area. After judging Whis's students, Shanpa realizes he should also enlist a Saiyan onto his team. Beerus explains that Goku is merely the second-strongest opponent he has ever faced. He proceeds to take off to inform Monaka, the strongest warrior he has ever fought, of the tournament. The next morning, Bulma finishes constructing the Super Dragon Radar. She intends to collect the Super Dragon Balls of the seventh universe before Beerus can use them to wish for the total annihilation of the entire world.
Goku and Vegeta recruit Piccolo and Majin Buu as the remaining combatants of the Universe Seven team. Gohan considered joining, but was unable to do so as he had a business meeting on the day of the tournament. Beerus and the others think back over recent events, with a series of flashbacks recapping the series.
Bulma and Jaco travel to meet Zunō-sama, an omniscient alien, to ask him about the Super Dragon Balls. After arriving on Zunō-sama's planet, the duo encounters a spacefaring criminal named Gekkuman, who is wanted for leaving a restaurant without paying. In thanks for subduing the criminal, Zunō-sama's attendants allow them to skip the lengthy waiting list and ask their questions of Zunō-sama. Bulma unwittingly wastes two of her three questions, but does glean information on the radius and other properties of the Super Dragon Balls, including the fact that they were formerly scattered across both Universe Six and Seven.
On Earth, everyone gathers for the trip to the tournament. Goku and Vegeta arrive after having trained in the Room of Spirit and Time. After stopping at Beerus' planet to get both him and Monaka, everyone proceeds to go to the tournament. The group meets their competition who are all somewhat unusual. This includes a Saiyan with a radically different history as well as a fighter who looks like Freeza. After the written test, the Universe Seven team is left one team member down because Majin Boo falls asleep. Majin Boo is deemed unfit and disqualified. Beerus decides that Monaka will go last. After a round of janken, it is decided that Goku will fight first, followed by Vegeta and then Piccolo. Goku and his competitor named Botamo, who is a giant bear-like creature enter the tournament ring.
The fight between Goku and Botamo commences. Goku takes a while to warm up due to having overeaten during the trip. Although Goku seems faster and more well trained than Botamo, none of the hits that he lands seem to have an effect. Botamo seems content to simply take the punishment. Urged by Vegeta to think before he acts, Goku drags Botamo to the side of the ring and then throws him out. This results in a win for Universe Seven. The next match begins almost immediately. The Freeza look alike named Frost is Goku's next opponent. In direct contrast to Freeza, Frost is a kind and beloved hero in Universe Six who looks forward to a challenge. Goku surprises Frost with knowledge of his transformations. Frost assumes a form that mirrors Freeza's third form. Goku mentions his ability to transform as well. He transforms into a Super Saiyan. Frost responds by transforming into his final form. Frost seems greatly outmatched by Goku even in his final transformation. Suddenly, a strange effect comes over Goku that severely weakens him and allows Frost a chance to strike. Frost knocks Goku out of the ring, which stuns everyone from Universe Seven.
Frost beats Goku by knocking him out of the ring. Piccolo walks up to Frost to face him next. Piccolo charges his signature attack while simultaneously evading Frost's attacks. To buy himself time to charge his attack, Piccolo creates clones of himself to distract Frost. Frost quickly disposes of decoys and charges at Piccolo. After a bout of close combat, Frost defeats Piccolo with a power blast. Before the referees could rule in Frost's favor, Jaco chimes in claiming that Frost had been cheating all along. The referees examine Frost and find that he had been using a forbidden tool. Shanpa is initially outraged to find that Frost had cheated, but decides to forgive him and help him in his Universe if Frost continues to play by the rules. Frost reveals that he set up the attacks on the planets he saved. The referees declare Piccolo the winner, but not until Vegeta steps in and says that he wishes to face Frost.
Frost cockily announces his intent to utterly defeat Vegeta in combat with the presentation of yet another needle. Both parties agree that the match should not be regulated by the standard rules of the tournament, in order to avoid disqualification and allow the combatants to fight at their full power. Vegeta mercilessly assaults Frost, sending him flying out of the barrier. He then declares that he did not kill Frost because he wasn't going to stoop down to the latter's level. Beerus discovers that Goku was also affected by Frost's paralysis needle, and he proceeds to convince the referee to allow Goku to return to the competition. Goku protests the turn order, as he desperately wants to see Monaka in combat. Beerus explains that Monaka, as his trump card, must fight last, prompting a hushed remark from Whis concerning Monaka's "true colors." Vados generates a new barrier around the ring as the referee announces a new rule: any contact an individual makes with the barrier automatically disqualifies them. Meanwhile, Frost attempts to escape in Champa's transportation cube, but is stunted by Hit in the process. The next match begins, with Vegeta facing off against the metal man Magetta. The audience begins to dispute over Magetta's eligibility. Magetta's volcanic fumes engulf the barrier, causing Vegeta to perspire rapidly.
Vegeta continues his battle with Magetta, struggling against the rising temperatures in the enclosed arena. Vegeta tries to end it quickly with a Galick Gun, but Magetta's lava spit blast overcomes it, and Magetta follows it with a punch that sends Vegeta flying toward the ground. After nearly being disqualified through a ring-out, Vegeta powers up in anger, destroying the barrier of the arena. He then strikes Magetta with a Final Flash, forcing Magetta to the very edge of the stage. Rushing up to his combatant, Vegeta forces Magetta out of the ring with a quick series of punches.
Vegeta faces Kyabe, a slim and short Saiyan from Universe Six, in the following round. Unlike their Universe Seven counterparts, Saiyans of Universe Six are heroic and kind, known as benevolent galactic protectors. Vegeta and Kyabe are initially equally matched, with Kyabe even using a blast similar to the Galick Gun. Vegeta then tells Kyabe to go Super Saiyan, so they can get serious, but Kyabe says he is unable to do so. Kyabe then asks for Vegeta to teach him how to transform, which seemingly enrages him. Vegeta transforms into a Super Saiyan and begins to mercilessly beat Kyabe, threatening that he will kill him and destroy his planet if he forfeits. An enraged Kyabe suddenly transforms, and goes on the offensive. Vegeta reveals that, since the Super Saiyan transformation is unlocked through drawing on one's inner anger, his actions were intended to bring about that transformation. Vegeta quickly powers up to Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan and knocks Kyabe out with a single punch. After the fight, Kyabe thanks Vegeta for telling him about his untapped potential, but Vegeta brushes him off and tells him not to forget his Saiyan pride and to aim to surpass all other Saiyans. Kyabe acknowledges Vegeta's advice and walks off stage. With Universe Six now down to their last fighter, Champa is still unconcerned as he is certain his hit man Hit will be able to settle the score.
Vegeta and Hit start their battle. To Vegeta's surprise, he is unable to land a single blow on Hit, due to his superior speed. Eventually, Vegeta is struck by a heavy blow and collapses. Hit is declared the winner of the match. Suddenly, it is revealed that Hit used a "time-skipping" technique, where he gets to time travel and be the only person able to move for a split second. Goku walks up to face off Hit. Initially, Hit overpowers Goku which prompts him to ask Goku to surrender. Goku denies, saying he used the time to figure out how Hit's technique works. Goku then predicts Hit's moves and evades his attacks. Hit claims that Goku's foresight was a just a fluke and that he will not be able to use it again. However, Goku is, yet again, able to foresee Hit's attacks and defend himself. Goku proposes that both of them fight at their full power. Hit concurs and withdraws. Shortly after, both start preparing for their next fight.
Goku and Hit both power up before the match. Goku is finally able to counter Hit's time-manipulating attacks, which displeases Hit. Hit tries to power up even more, but Goku prevents him. Soon after, Hit manages to counter Goku's blows, while he simultaneously grows even stronger. Badly hurt, Goku hits the ground. Champa tells Hit to finish off Goku, but Hit refuses to obey his order. Goku manages to get back on his feet and the two resume their fight. Goku is soon backed into a corner and resorts to his Kaiō-ken technique, which greatly increases his strength and speed. Having powered up, Goku begins pummeling and blasting Hit, who manages to evade most of the attacks with ease.
Goku and Hit fight indecisive stalemate, with neither side able to gain ground against the other. Goku requests that the rules of the fight be waived so that Hit can use his assassination techniques freely. Shanpa and Beerus argue over the this decision. During their argument, Goku jumps out of the arena, thereby forfeiting the match. He argues that he would have been unable to continue due to the strain on his body brought on by his Kaiō-ken technique. Shortly after, Monaka walks up to face Hit. Monaka easily defeats Hit in a single punch. With Hit defeated, Universe 7 team come out as the winners of the tournament. Just as the festivities are about to conclude, Zenō , a mysterious "King of Universes", appears in the center of the arena, to the surprise of everyone there.
Zenō announces that he will organize a martial arts tournament for all twelve universes. Goku disrespectfully approaches and talks to Zenō, much to everyone else's discomfort. Shanpa scolds his team for losing and orders them to train for the upcoming tournament. Shanpa and his team leave shortly afterwards. Beerus asks the Earthlings to find the Super Dragon Balls. Android 18 notices that all Super Dragon Balls are clumped together on the radar. Goku, Beerus and the others leave for the location of the Super Dragon Balls. Once they are there, Whis summons Sūpā Shenlong, a more powerful version of Shenlong. Unknown to anyone else, Beerus secretly wishes to have Universe Six's Earth restored back to normal. Vados informs Shanpa what Beerus wished for. Whis leaves Beerus and Monaka on Beerus' planet and departs for Earth. Monaka is revealed to be a mere mail deliveryman who is an aspiring fighter. Beerus rewards Monaka with money for his help motivating Goku and Vegeta. Goku, Vegeta and others from Earth return home, much to Goku's delight.
With the tournament completed, Bulma decides to hold a celebration party at the Capsule Corporation. She also decides to invite Monaka who she considers to be the real winner of the tournament. Beerus and Whis are opposed to Bulma's idea as they believe that Goku would want to fight Monaka if he were to attend. Ultimately, Monaka does attend. Beerus decides to tell everyone besides Goku about Monaka's secret; who he really is and how he is not nearly as powerful as everyone believes him to be. Goten and Trunks suggest that Beerus disguises himself as Monaka and fight Goku in Monaka's place. Beerus agrees to the plan and disguises himself. Pu'ar also shapeshifts itself into Beerus to act as a decoy. Goku and a disguised Beerus begin their match shortly after. Following a brief clash, Whis interrupts the battle and everyone carries on with the festivities.
Due to overexerting himself during the tournament, Goku has problems controlling his Ki and needs to avoid using it to recover. While Gohan and Videl are out, Goku and his family babysit Pan. That morning, Pilaf and his companions plan to attack Goku while he's asleep, but flee in terror, bringing Pan along with them. Inside their ship, Pilaf accidentally launches them into the stratosphere; the ship is destroyed, but Pan is able to fly back home with her captives in tow. Returning home, Goku's family is relieved to find her, though they remain ignorant of her exploits.
While Monaka delivers a package to Bulma, Goten and Trunks sneak into his delivery truck and are accidentally taken to planet Potofu. There, a group of space bandits attempt to steal a key to an item called the Superhuman Water from an elder named Potage. The bandits succeed and are absorbed and cloned by the purple viscous liquid. On the behest of Bulma, Vegeta and Jaco arrive on the planet to search for the children; Vegeta is then absorbed and cloned by the liquid.
Powerless, Vegeta and company flee from the cloned Vegeta and bandits. Learning that the original will disappear once cloned, Goten and Trunks attempt to defeat the copy before it reaches that point. Goku, now fully recovered, teleports to Goten's side, and prepares to fight the cloned Vegeta.
Goku and Clone Vegeta's battle begins, but Goku only has a few minutes to defeat the clone before Vegeta will disappear and die. Trunks and Goten do their best to weaken the clone at the source.