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Betas are the standard canine shapeshifter, the middle rank between alpha and beta. In a pack, most of the members will be betas, with the leaders being the alphas. A beta shapeshifter's eyes will glow gold or blue.


Werewolves or coyotes, are classified as betas simply by mutual and accepting affiliation with an alpha or another experienced beta, or as an accepted member of a pack. They gain a mystical symbiotic bond, thus becoming more powerful, more capable and mature as were-creatures. 


Betas can be born to parents who are werewolves. Derek Hale, and his sisters, Laura and Cora Hale all inherited their werewolf trait from their mother Talia.


They can also be humans who have recently received an alpha's bite. In Season 1, Scott McCall became a beta werewolf automatically when bitten by Peter Hale.


Out of necessity and convenience, Scott and Derek worked together to stop Peter and so they were classified as betas.


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Betas commonly manifest their werewolf side through physical transformations such as claws, fangs, different facial bone structure, and increased hair on the face and body. 


Like Alphas, they are able to fully transform their bodies further into more anthropomorphic shapes, or even Evolve and transform into a full wolf as in the case of Derek Hale. However, this is harder, more challenging for them to accomplish because they lack the spark of power an alpha possesses that supplements the ability to do so.


If a beta were to dissassociate themselves from a pack, their ability would accordingly diminish. They would then be classified as omegas.