Its always the last thing. Must have had some kind of hardware issue. reflashing my ssd has solved any issues. no idea what the original cause was. Some random little glitch is my guess. I was trying to avoid reflashing because of how far along I was in config, but backed it up and restoring it now that the controllers are all working. Thanks for attempting to help me h2805270, i appreciate it.
Please do not post a support request without first reading and following the advice in https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/3/read-this-first