in order to set the digital inputs as analogue (in addition to keeping them as analogue too).
It appears that the current fba core accepts only analogue (thumb)stick inputs for arcade machines that used analogue hardware such as wheels, joysticks, pedals, etc, something that wasn't a case previously and still isn't on MAME.
For anyone having the same problem (and doesn't use analogue sticks) this seems to be the only solution currently but I'm not sure if this will interfere with anything else.
@mediamogul My joysticks indeed present themselves as keyboard keys... I was under the impression that if I change the analogue sticks to work as dpad, that I will then have an issue with the games.. I might have got that wrong, I'll try it out !!
Thanks for the help ! It now works. I have also figured out what went wrong.
I need to setup my physical buttons with the DPAD controls and then SKIP the controls for the analogue left, then set the analogue sticks to copy the dpad controls..
Amazing piece of software this retropie.. It reallt works great now..