If you're like me, then while playing the new Animal Crossing: New Horizons your tools break at the worst possible times. I'll be on a sick tarantula-catching spree on a Nook Miles Ticket self-made tarantula island and BOOM my net breaks. Now I have to hit up my boy Wilbur for a flimsy net and then go to the DIY crafting table and craft a new normal net. It can be frustrating having to break your concentration and then trudging to the nearest DIY table to make new tools, or worse, have to head home first to get materials and then craft. Thankfully, Animal Crossing: New Horizons continues with the series tradition of Golden Tools, which last much longer than flimsy and normal tools. Unfortunately, the Golden Tools can still break, but they each last 200 uses, still a major improvement.
Each of the Golden Tools has its criteria before you will be able to unlock the DIY recipe for them. Most of the criteria will require you to put some serious time (or time manipulation) in to unlock. After unlocking the DIY recipes for the Golden Tools, you will just need to make sure you have gold nuggets available for the crafting. Each recipe simply requires the standard version of the tool plus one gold nugget to craft. This is what we know so far about how to unlock the Golden Tools.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Golden Axe
To unlock the Golden Axe you'll need to break 100 other axes. This means flimsy, stone, and standard axes breaking will all count towards that 100 broken axes total.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Golden Shovel
To unlock the Golden Shovel, you'll need to help the ever-stranded seagull Gulliver collect his five communicator parts 30 different times. Gulliver is a random visitor to your island, so you'll just have to keep an eye on the shores for when he washes up for help.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Golden Net
Unlocking the Golden Net will require you to catch every bug in the game. This will either require you to play at least an entire year to catch all of the seasonal bugs when they appear, or if you're one of "those people," you can simply change the date on your Switch and time travel to the seasons when they appear and catch them ahead of real time. Another route of catching them all early would be to travel to a friend's island if they are in the opposite hemisphere of you. If you donate all of the bugs you catch, you'll be able to complete the bug section of the museum, much to Blathers' disgust.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Golden Fishing Rod
Same as the Golden Net, unlocking the Golden Fishing Rod will require you to catch every fish in the game. Again you can play normally and wait until the appropriate seasons to catch each fish or time travel to catch them earlier. Visiting a friend in the opposite hemisphere will also give you the chance to catch every fish without waiting on your own island.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Golden Slingshot
Unlocking the Golden Slingshot seems to be accomplished by shooting down 300 presents from the sky. I say "seems" because as of writing this, I was unable to definitively confirm this, but there is a Nook Miles milestone for shooting down presents and 300 is the top tier of that milestone. We will update this when we find out officially what the unlock requirement is.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Golden Watering Can
Unlocking the Golden Watering Can will take potentially the longest depending on how you complete the other Golden Tools' requirements, because to get it, you'll need a five-star island rating. To get the five-star rating, you'll need to unlock every building, have a lot of villagers, and decorate your island with trees, flowers, and other items. You can talk to Isabelle to check on your island's rating as you work towards that elusive five-star rating.
That's it folks, those are the requirements to unlocking all of the Golden Tools in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, so get out there and get to grinding! Or just play normally, since you can unlock all of them by just playing the game that way, too.