While developing the game, most of NST's efforts were focused on its multiplayer aspect because of its first-person shooter gameplay, and to take advantage of the Wi-Fi and voice chat capabilities of the Nintendo DS. One of the game's designers, Richard Vorodi, noted that "the hardware kinda dictated [their focus onto the game's multiplayer mode]. " Wanting to introduce a new element to the Metroid series, Abe created several new bounty hunters after he realized that the game's multiplayer mode and the new bounty hunters could both be implemented seamlessly into the game: "We had this idea early on and thought that would be a good way to introduce [Metroid Prime Hunters] and [the new bounty hunters] to the gameplay and take advantage of that in the multiplayer. " Metroid Prime Hunters includes several references to previous games in the Metroid Prime series. Samus' ship is from the original Metroid Prime, and her suit is the same one that appears in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The developers decided to add them because they wanted to show that the technology has evolved, and they also wanted to include something that was instantly recognizable to those who had played previous games in the series. On level design, Abe said that as the game's controls shifted from an analog stick method to touchscreen aiming, the developers wanted to avoid making the gameplay and the control scheme more difficult.