Same controller working on one PC and not the other?

This has been driving me nuts for about a week so I’m not sure where to start…

I’ve been using RetroArch on my gaming PC for years running on Manjaro Linux. I’ve always used an Xbox One or Guilikit controller, never had an issue. I also have a nice all aluminum arcade stick I made years ago that I stopped using as I wanted to turn it into a wireless blutooth stick but I went through a fiasco of using a Brook Wireless fighting Board. That thing was lousy and quit working after like a day. So the Arcade stick sat there…

Then I came across this repo

I’m pretty good with hardware but terrible with code and that arduino library for an ESP32 seemed easy enough. I designed a PCB to carry an ESP32 dev board and a Seeed Lithium battery charging module for the arcade stick. I turned out pretty well but I didnt have time so it sat for a while.

So I just got back to this thing last week. I hacked together some Arduino code and tested the arcade stick in jstest-gtk. It worked fine. So I brought it down to the gaming machine to use it in RetroArch. It connects over Blutooth fine, works in jstest, works in Steam…but doesn’t work in retroarch. It IDs fine, but I can’t bind any controls. I putzed around with the autoconfig file and realized that I can manually add the buttons and they work but I can’t get the hat/joystick working. It enumerates as an axis with +/- values but no matter how I address the input in the config file it doesn’t work.

So after messing with that I figured I should try doing something else with the firmware so I took it back to the desktop PC and figured I’d install RetroArch on that PC to make sure it works. I didn’t even mess with the firmware, soon as I installed RetroArch and went to “bind all” it all works. I changed the driver settings on the gaming PC to match the desktop and deleted the autoconfig file and I still can’t bind it on that PC So now I’m really confused…

Both PCs run Manjaro Linux. It connects over blutooth, works in jstest exactly the same on both PCs yet the stick works in RA on one PC and not the other. It’s the same version of RetroArch from the Manjaro Repo. Steam is not running BTW. I don’t understand what could be causing the issue with the gaming PC using the stick in RA when it works in everything else. Where do I even look?

It’s me again. Same guy from reddit.

If you can make a working autoconfig profile on your gaming PC, you should be able to copy it over to the other one and have it work. It should also include the mysterious dpad keycodes.

But to answer your question: I don’t know of anything that would cause it to work in one but not the other, if everything else is similar (i.e., how you installed, OS version, etc.)

EDIT: might be worthwhile to run a diff on your retroarch.cfg files to see if there’s anything suspicious.