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Forcing Controller Support ?

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Hi ! I've been reading for a long time here but never posted, that's my trial I guess

So, I play Hit & Run on PC since a few years now, and wish I did more. Used to play with a PS4 controller but one out of two times (by time I mean : one of two Windows saves) the game would just not recognize it natively. I was left with Joy2Key but not having a genuine support for the joysticks made the game unplayable for me.

I recently changed my SSD and downloaded Hit & Run somewhere on the internet with French language available (yeah... hard to get a real PC copy, wish I could). Made the gap to an Xbox One controller to make sure I wouldn't have any compatibility issues ever in my life (looking at you, Dark Souls 1) and yay ! It worked ! What a blast I had.
Due to some weird errors I had to swipe my SSD clean and reinstalling everything. Couldn't find my original link for the game so I've tried the Flamingos one, install the game and : game didn't recognize the controller... Tried a second one + a copy of the game files I had in 2015, both didn't work.

I just want to know what causes the controller support to sometimes work and sometimes not ? It seems related to the W10 save but I don't really want to wipe it clean again just to try (don't have a backup computer to play with). I wish somebody has an answer to have a reliable way of using a controller every single time as it sounds like an issue..half of the people have when playing this game on PC with their joypad.

Thanks guys