Link's Crossbow Training has a multiplayer mode, where players compete for the highest score.
The development staff began work on the game's story, which Miyamoto intended to be an extra story based around Twilight Princess. However, the staff had been coming up with what could be better described as "epic tales" rather than "side stories". When Miyamoto revealed that he would not make the game with an "epic tale", much of the staff was shocked, saying it was like killing all of the ideas they had been working with until then. Some argued that they should not even do it, as it would be simply reusing existing software and selling it to the consumers. Miyamoto proposed that they make a working prototype and have test players give impressions of the game. If they did not like it, Miyamoto would stop development right there. Nintendo of America gathered together several die-hard The Legend of Zelda fans, who all reacted positively to the game. Reports from these test players were given to the development team daily, allowing them to tweak the game as they went along.
Miyamoto created a list of "don't"s for the development team, including not incorporating anything unnecessary, not "making a movie", and making sure a player could be able to complete a stage within three minutes, so as to not discourage the player from trying to beat the level again if he or she fails. Miyamoto also told the developers to not get caught up in the rewards, letting the players focus on the "journey" first, and to not include any boss battles so the developers could focus on making the whole game entertaining rather than focusing on making fabulous bosses. Miyamoto eventually gave in after the developers persisted on there being three bosses in the game, although he reduced that to one to make them focus on making one fabulous boss battle instead of attempting to make three fabulous boss battles.
Choosing which game to use the Wii Zapper with proved to be difficult. Because the project was due to the ideas of The Legend of Zelda staff, Miyamoto wanted to be in the The Legend of Zelda universe, although some staff argued that giving Link a gun would be too strange. Miyamoto proposed a Terminator-style plot about a time warp to the future, but the idea was vetoed immediately. Miyamoto enjoyed the Hidden Village from Twilight Princess's spaghetti western theme, and recreated it so people could enjoy it in an FPS setting. He also thought using the Wii Zapper in a spaghetti western theme would make it even more fun. The development team eventually settled for giving Link a crossbow. Despite crossbows being unable to do a rapid-fire effect, Miyamoto felt that because it is just for fun, they did it anyway.
The game was originally titled Introduction to Wii Zapper. However, the development team opted to change this, to avoid confusion with Introduction to Wii, the Japanese title of Wii Play. The team also did not want to call it something like The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Crossbow, as it would appear to be a grand-scaled sequel in The Legend of Zelda series, and they did not want it to be interpreted as such. They settled for Link's Crossbow Training in the end.
Link's Crossbow Training was announced by Nintendo to be bundled with the Wii Zapper accessory on July 11, 2007 during Nintendo's E3 2007 media briefing, although it was not directly announced until the GameStop Expo in September of 2007, and was announced by Nintendo on September 10, 2007.
Nintendo Power stated "In the way that Link's Crossbow Training shows the potential of the zapper, it couldn't be much better." However, they criticized it for being "Just too darn short–you'll probably make it through the entire single-player mode in just over an hour (add another hour to get platinum medals on every stage)." IGN stated that while the game was enjoyable, it was also too short. IGN's review also panned the Wii Zapper as actually "making the game more difficult" to play and generally frustrating to use.