Animal Crossing: New Horizons - How to unlock all golden tools

Animal Crossing New Horizons Golden Toilet
Animal Crossing New Horizons Golden Toilet (Image credit: iMore)

The peaceful tranquility of Animal Crossing: New Horizons brings with it a seemingly endless cycle of building tools and breaking them. Eventually though, you can gain the ability to build extremely durable golden tools. Each one requires meeting a different goal, but we here at iMore have all the details.

What are golden tools?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Buy Tools (Image credit: iMore)

Whether buying tools or crafting them, you've almost certainly noticed that your tools break with use. The time, resources, and Bells spent constantly replacing your broken tools can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are golden tools that take far longer to break. Although they have been unbreakable in previous games, in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, they will eventually break, but it takes a whole lot longer, freeing up your time for more fishing, bug catching, and the like.

How do I get all this gold?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Gold Nugget (Image credit: iMore)

Each golden tool D.I.Y. Recipe requires one standard tool and one gold nugget. As you may have already noticed, gold nuggets aren't exactly a common resource, and since golden tools do still eventually break, it might seem like a waste to use what little gold you have on making them. Still, whether you're making the golden tools, or hoarding your gold for other recipes, you'll want to get as many gold nuggets as possible. The best way to do this is by hitting every single rock on your island every day. You can also travel on Mystery Island Tours, and hit rocks on those islands as well. Make sure you're getting all eight items from each rock too.

How do I get the D.I.Y. Recipes?

Each of the golden tool D.I.Y. Recipes have different requirements to earn. Most of them are things you're probably already trying to do.

Golden Axe

Animal Crossing New Horizons Golden Axe (Image credit: iMore)

The easiest and probably first golden tool recipe you will get is the Golden Axe. All you need to do to earn this D.I.Y. Recipe is break 100 axes. The axes you break can be any of the other three types of axes, so I opted for flimsy since they break the fastest (plus, you don't have to worry about accidentally chopping down your trees when harvesting wood or bamboo!)

Golden Slingshot

Animal Crossing New Horizons Golden Slingshot (Image credit: iMore)

Another easy one to earn is the Golden Slingshot recipe. Use your slingshot often enough, and you will earn this recipe pretty quickly. If you successfully shoot down 300 present balloons, you'll get a golden present balloon with this recipe.

Golden Shovel

Animal Crossing New Horizons Gulliver (Image credit: iMore)

Earning the Golden Shovel D.I.Y. Recipe requires helping out a particular NPC, Gulliver many times: 30 times to be exact! So, make sure you're checking the beach each day. Gulliver doesn't have a consistent schedule as to when he'll show up, but it does happen pretty frequently. Helping him out will also reward you with some pretty rare items from around the world!

Golden Fishing Rod

Animal Crossing New Horizons Fish Critterpedia (Image credit: iMore)

While fairly straightforward, the Golden Fishing Rod has the potential to take the longest to earn because it requires catching every single fish species in the game. Unless you're Time Traveling, it will take nearly a year to earn this recipe because of the real-time seasonal availability of different fish. (And that's assuming you don't miss any before the month ends!)

Golden Net

Animal Crossing New Horizons Tarantula (Image credit: iMore)

Much like the Golden Fishing Rod, the Golden Net also takes nearly a year to complete without Time Traveling because you have to catch every single bug species in the game. This one can be a little trickier than the Golden Fishing Rod because, on top of being available only at specific times of day and year, some bugs are challenging to find - like mole crickets which have to be dug up or ants which only show up when there is rotten food. On the plus side, completing both the fish and bug collections will also net you a lot of miles, and can fill your museum as well.

Golden Watering Can

Animal Crossing New Horizons Island Eval (Image credit: iMore)

While the Golden Fishing Rod and Golden Net recipes might take the longest time to complete, the Golden Watering Can recipe is certainly the most challenging to earn. You'll need to upgrade your Resident Service first, so that Isabelle will move to your island. Once Isabelle is living on your island, you can visit her in Resident Services to evaluate your island. Then, the real work begins! To earn the golden watering can recipe, you need to get your island a five-star rating! This means a whole lot of planting, decorating, and cleaning up.

Fortunately, Isabelle will give you guidance on what you still need to work on when she provides your evaluation. You have to have a good balance of trees, flowers, fences, and decorations, and you have to make sure your island stays clean. It takes a lot of work and a lot of Bells, but once you get your island to five stars, Isabelle will reward you with the golden watering can.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Perfect Town (Image credit: iMore)

Unlike the other tools, the golden watering can isn't just more durable, either. The golden watering can has a much larger radius and is capable of making golden roses. Having a five-star island will also make it possible to grow lilies-of-the-valley - an extremely rare, highly toxic, and absolutely beautiful flower!


Do you have any questions about how to craft golden tools? Will you be making the complete set, or are you hoarding your gold for more important endeavors? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out our other Animal Crossing: New Horizons guides for all your Nook approved goodness!

Casian Holly

Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.