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You can edit your controller config to enable a hotkey by adding a line like this:
input_enable_hotkey_btn = "x"
Just put the number corresponding to the button you want to use in place of the x.

Then, for setting the Save State and Load State buttons, use this:

input_save_state_btn = "y"
input_load_state_btn = "z"

Again, just replace the y and z with the number of the button you want to assign.

I was able to use that to set up my controller without needing to disable all hotkeys first.