An ion beam has the unique feature of being able to deposit its main energy inside a human body to kill cancer cells or inside material. However, conventional ion accelerators tend to be huge in size and cost. In this paper, a future intense-laser ion accelerator is discussed to make the laser-based ion accelerator compact and controllable. The issues in the laser ion accelerator include the energy efficiency from the laser to the ions, the ion beam collimation, the ion energy spectrum control, the ion beam bunching, and the ion particle energy control. In the study, each component is designed to control the ion beam quality by particle simulations. The energy efficiency from the laser to ions is improved by using a solid target with a fine sub-wavelength structure or a near-critical-density gas plasma. The ion beam collimation is performed by holes behind the solid target or a multi-layered solid target. The control of the ion energy spectrum and the ion particle energy, and the ion beam bunching are successfully realized by a multi-stage laser–target interaction.