Animal Crossing: New Horizons has quickly become a cultural phenomenon. It's the perfect game to relax with and offers laid-back activities like fishing, catching insects and even stargazing. And while it's easily one of the best games on the market, it's not without some annoying gameplay designs. Unlike earlier parts of the series, tools in New Horizons are fragile – a feature that grows old after you make your 80th spade.
Fortunately, there is a way to unlock more durable gear – known as gold tools. While these still break, they last much longer than your everyday variant. Unlocking each of them isn't difficult either, but it will take a lot of perseverance and hours of gameplay.
What are gold tools?
Tools usually come in three different varieties ̵
- Flimsy: Used 10 times
- Normal: Used 30 times
- Golden: Up to 200 Usage
If you really don't like running back to your house to make new stuff when yours breaks, you want to invest in gold tools as soon as possible. It is unfortunate that they are still used to a limited extent, but you will in any case experience fewer inconveniences. All gold tools are made the same way – that is, using the basic tool along with a piece of gold ore. However, you must first unlock their respective DIY recipe. Here's how it's done:
The shovel is useful for many things in New Horizons such as fossil hunting, rock mining for ore, and dig up communicator parts for Gulliver. The latter is the key to unlocking the golden shovel DIY recipe. Once you have helped the stranded seagull for the 30th time, you will receive the recipe by post the next day. Gulliver's appearance on your island is random – and it doesn't come that often – so you'll have to play for several months before picking up this useful recipe.
Prepare to channel your inner Once -ler because you will have to cut down hundreds of trees before you can wrap your fingers around the handle of a golden ax. More specifically, you must first break 100 normal axes . Since each tree needs three chops to fall – and each ax has a lifespan of around 30 – you'll have to cut nearly 1,000 before you even notice the golden ax recipe. It is best to visit dozens of mystery islands with Nook Miles Tickets; otherwise you will turn your city into a barren wasteland.
By the time you unlock it, you probably don't want to go fishing anymore. That's because you have to catch every fish in the Critterpedia before emailing the DIY recipe to your house. Since fish rotate based on the season, look at a whole year before completing this lengthy task. Of course you can always time travel – but what is the fun in it?
Just like it was with the golden rod, you have to catch every bug before you earn the golden net. Bugs are also seasonal, so there's a long crease waiting for anyone looking to make a more durable bug catcher.
Golden Watering Can
This may be the hardest to earn from any of the tools, but at least it is not tied to the seasonal appearance of different animals! In order to get this recipe, you need to expand your city into a five-star location. Isabelle in Resident Services can help guide you in the right direction, but putting her advice into practice is easier said than done.
As long as you decorate your island with a mix of store-bought and handmade goods, you should eventually reach this milestone. Feel free to celebrate by watering all your plants without breaking your watering can!
Unlike the Golden Watering Can, this task is easiest to accomplish. Simply pop 300 balloons floating over your island and the next balloon to appear is golden. Go ahead and pop your last balloon with a normal slingshot, as you should receive the golden catapult DIY recipe as a reward for shooting balloon number 301.
Balloons spawn every few minutes in New Horizons so this task can be completed in a few weeks by a dedicated player. It may be annoying, but at least you don't have to travel six months into the future to catch a single scarab beetle.
Are gold tools worth it?
Unlocking all these different tools is not something to be taken lightly. It takes months of dedicated playing time to earn all six, and the fact that they can still break is a little disappointing. Not only that, but you also have to say goodbye to precious gold ore to make them. That said, they are still a worthwhile goal to chase. Even if they aren't as useful as players had hoped, they still give impressive bragging rights when playing with friends.
It is also very likely that you will earn all of these things without going out of your way. Most people actively try to complete their Critterpedia just because of the fact – not because they are rewarded with a nice new tool. Unless you'd like to get your hands on something golden, it's best to take your time and earn this gear at your own pace. Otherwise, you can fall victim to fatigue at Animal Crossing after shooting your 100th balloon in 24 hours.