If you've played Animal Crossing: New Horizons long enough to open up the island's Residential Service building, you've probably encountered some rusted parts in the lost and found bin to the left of the door, along with some cardboard boxes and other discarded detritus. While you can sell anything you find in there for a few extra bells at Nook's Cranny, you may want to hang onto the rusted parts. Here's why.
What are rusted parts for in 'Animal Crossing'?
Like many of the items you find on your island, "rusted parts" are an ingredient in several DIY recipes you will unlock as you play. However, they don't grow on trees or pop out of rocks, so finding them occasionally in the lost and found is one of the few ways to obtain this resource. Though the words "rusted parts" conjure up trash, and these definitely are trash, they can, along with some other resources, help you build fun items like a "robot hero," otherwise known as a gundan, which requires 30 of them.
There will likely be new DIY recipes released in future updates, so it's not a bad idea to stockpile resources that are more difficult to come by, like gold nuggets and rusted parts. Unlike gold, which nets players several thousand bells if they sell it at Nook's Cranny, rusted parts only earn you 10 bells apiece, which is not very much considering how hard they are to stockpile.
How do I find more rusted parts in 'Animal Crossing'?
You've probably noticed that rusted parts are most likely to turn up in the bin after a visit from Gulliver. This seagull is constantly getting shipwrecked on your island and always needs help collecting the parts that have flown out of his communicator. If you've encountered the hapless bird on your shore, you probably went to work digging up the five missing parts and then returned them to Gulliver so he could signal his crew.
While it may feel cruel to do so, you can hang onto the communicator parts rather than give them to Gulliver. Keep them in your inventory, rather than dropping them somewhere or putting them in storage. The next day, they will have "rusted" and Gulliver will be gone. Don't feel too badly, he's a seafaring salty dog... er, bird. Either his crew finally found him or he swam out to find them, because players who have done this report Gulliver will still return to you the next week with the same misfortune.
What happens if you don't rescue Gulliver?
While you will amass rusted parts more quickly this way, and Gulliver will maybe learn a little about self-sufficiency (only to forget it again next week), there are two consequences when you don't help him put his communicator back together. First, you won't get the thank you gift he sends the following day once he gets back to his shipmates.
Second, you will delay obtaining the coveted golden shovel recipe, which players only earn once they've helped Gulliver 30 times. Since he only shows up once a week, that means it will take you far longer than 30 weeks of play to earn the golden shovel recipe card, which allows you to make a much stronger shovel.
(Please don't ask us why golden tools are stronger. It's a malleable metal that's terrible for tool-making, but if you're looking for realism from a game where you can shake trees to get money and furniture, we truly don't know how to help you.)
A third consequence, if you have a heart anyway, is that is doesn't feel good to ignore Gulliver all day. But hey, maybe it'll help that bird learn his crew maybe isn't the nicest bunch of folks to sail with.
And that's everything you need to know about how to get rusted parts and why it's better to hang onto them than sell them!